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Report: WNY toll collector made more than 100k in 2017

Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 18:33:02-05

Unless you have an EZ Pass or go through a cashless toll, you're greeted by a State Thruway Toll Collector when you pass through various toll locations across New York.

According to NewYorkUpstate.com, overtime padded the pockets of at least two toll collectors in the state, who according to the article made more than $100,000 in 2017.

One of those collectors worked right here in Western New York. This toll collector, Lawrence Stokely made almost $48,000 in overtime last year. That was more than double his salary of $15.64 per hour.

Stokely is one of 262 thruway employees who made more than $100,000 last year.

The Thruway Authority says it's not taxpayer dollars, but primarily user-based fees like tolls that pay the salaries of its employees.

It sent us the following statement:

“Toll collectors have been a critical part of the Authority during its more than 60 year history and will continue to be over the next two years as we transition to cashless tolling by the end of 2020. Our toll collection staff step up when called upon to ensure toll lanes remain open, revenue is collected and traffic continues to flow smoothly and without backups. As one of the longest and safest toll roads in the country, the maintenance of the Thruway is a 24/7 operation that requires a great deal of hard work and effort from our more than 3,000 employees. Our workforce go above and beyond the call of duty when needed. This includes Maintenance Workers who plow the roadway in snow storms and Dispatchers who ensure emergency responders quickly respond to accidents and other emergencies to assist motorists in need.  The Thruway Authority distributes overtime using a fair process contractually agreed upon with the unions that represent our workforce.”