State Senator Greg Ball and Assemblyman Steve Katz are once again asking Governor Cuomo to do a forensic audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The lawmakers believe that now, before the governor appoints a new MTA chairman and chief executive officer, is the right time to have the authority’s finances publicly reviewed for corruption and waste. Cuomo will be appointing the person who succeeds the outgoing Jay Walder.
“There is no better time than now,” said Senator Ball said at a press conference held at Somers Town Hall surrounded by local officials from Somers and Yorktown. “We’ve known of corruption and gross mismanagement within the authority for years. We have an opportunity here, with new leadership at the helm, to get a fresh start and save taxpayers, communities and small-business owners millions of dollars.”
“The MTA is one of the most costly agencies in the nation, and it is completely irresponsible to ask the people, and employers, of New York State to spend one more dime funding this agency until a complete accounting of their finances is made public,” said Assemblyman Katz. “Furthermore, lawmakers and the public should be given time to review the findings to ensure that any corruption is rooted out and preventative measures be put into place to ensure the new MTA administration is more accountable and transparent. If what is being done at the MTA is not illegal, it should be.”
Both state lawmakers have been strong advocates of a forensic audit, with Ball leading the charge following the 2009 MTA bailout that included authorization of the authority’s payroll tax. Following strong public opposition for a payroll tax, which is imposed on every employer within the MTA’s 12-county service region, the state comptroller did agree to conduct an audit of the authority; however, his piecemeal audit has yet to focus on the underlying public concern with the MTA: payroll mismanagement. In fact, since “initiating” the audit, payrolls throughout the MTA have continued to skyrocket with some employees doubling or tripling their annual salaries through overtime payments. (READ MORE)