17 charged in LIRR copper-wire theft
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“The 15 employees allegedly involved have been suspended without pay,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. “Any public employee found guilty of these types of charges faces dismissal from the LIRR. In addition, the LIRR is taking immediate action to tighten security measures in an attempt to prevent future thefts of this nature from occurring again, including increased video surveillance of yards and shops where scrap metal is stored and more secure storage bins across our property.”
When asked whether he believed the theft of copper wire, when viewed alongside the LIRR pension fraud trial, showed there was a culture of theft in the LIRR, Kluger responded that he did not believe so.
“No, I would not categorize this as a culture of theft,” Kluger said. “Obviously there is a problem. It’s not isolated to the Long Island Railroad. There are issues that need to be addressed with the control and oversight of employees.”
Two of the employees charged were assistant foreman, while the 13 others were communication signalmen. The defendants are charged with varying counts of conspiracy, criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and theft of services. The defendants face anywhere between up to one year in jail for those with less severe charges to seven years in prison for the alleged ringleader.
The 17 defendants were arraigned Friday by Judge Angelo Delligatti, and the prosecutor for the case is Deputy Chief Christiana McSloy of the Public Corruption Bureau.