Audit Accuses NFTA Officers of 'Double Dipping'

September 27, 2010 Updated Sep 27, 2010 at 6:35 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

September 27, 2010 Updated Sep 27, 2010 at 6:35 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli held a press conference Monday where he revealed the results of an audit that showed numerous NFTA officers had been involved in a 'double dipping' scheme.

The reports says that a number of NFTA police officers "systematically abandoned their assigned duty posts to go to work at other jobs while being paid by the authority." This practice was also condoned and participated in by high-ranking officers, according to the audit.

“This was an egregious abuse of taxpayer dollars,” DiNapoli said. “These officers are sworn to uphold the law and protect the public. Instead, they treated their oath of duty as a license to enrich themselves. No one can do two jobs at once and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for cops who aren’t on the job. The NFTA needs to do a much better job rooting out time and attendance abuse in its police force.”

DiNapoli’s auditors identified 11 officers who practiced “double dipping” over a three-year period, cheating the public out of a full-day’s work. One of the officers involved was also the department’s internal affairs officer during the time he was double dipping, and most of the officers involved were among the top overtime earners within the department. In one of the more egregious examples, a lieutenant claimed he worked 26 hours during a single day.

Auditors found that nine NFTA officers, including supervisors, worked for the City of Buffalo Board of Education at football games on Thanksgiving Day in 2006, 2007 and 2008, while being signed in for their regular scheduled shifts with the Transportation Authority. The double-dippers included a captain who was second-in-command at the department. In 2007, three police officers worked at the Board of Education’s McKinley Basketball Tournament when they were supposed to be on patrol for the Transportation Authority.

Auditors discovered that some officers signed in for overtime while being on the clock as security officers for the Erie County Community College, and one supervisor claimed to work three consecutive shifts in a 24-hour period, with two of the shifts being paid at overtime rates.

See the full audit here