TARRYTOWN, N.Y.—The state Department of Transportation improperly paid $321,000 to eight employees working on the Tappan Zee Bridge project.
Eight employees were improperly paid for their commute to work in Tarrytown while working on the Tappan Zee Bridge.
"After an internal audit identified the improper payments, DOT continued to make them, even with multiple opportunities to remedy the situation. DOT needs to do a better job protecting taxpayer dollars and ensuring its employees are not paid for routine commuting costs," said State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
When Dot selected property in Tarrytown for the project in August 2007, the eight employees were incorrectly designated to Poughkeepsie as their official station. Because the project office is 55 miles from Poughkeepsie, DOT allowed the employees to claim car mileage and toll costs.
DOT officials acknowledged the official station designation of Poughkeepsie was incorrect and attributed the problem to administrative error. According to DOT officials, pertinent managers were unaware of state travel guidance and the agency lacked sufficient formal policy for the designation of employees' official station.
DOT has been working with the Comptroller's Office to properly determine and address any tax implications of the travel payments.
For a copy of the report visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093014/12s93.pdf