Full steam ahead with LIRR pension probe

State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo put LIRR officials in the hot seat Monday as he launched his probe into the Long Island Rail Road?s alleged disability and pension fraud. In front of Long Island?s

News 12 Staff

Oct 28, 2008, 6:00 PM

Updated 5,737 days ago

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State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo put LIRR officials in the hot seat Monday as he launched his probe into the Long Island Rail Road?s alleged disability and pension fraud.
In front of Long Island?s Congressional delegation, Cuomo grilled doctors involved in the alleged scam. LIRR President Helena Williams told the panel she accepts responsibility and vowed to get to the bottom of the problem. However, she said it?s a national problem, not a local one.
The panel heard testimony that 90 percent of retired LIRR workers applied for disability pension and 98 percent got it. Those benefits are worth as much as $36,000 a year on top of the workers? regular pension. Cuomo estimates the alleged scam has cost taxpayers $250 million over the past eight years. "Regardless of whether the ailment was real or not, there was a notion that, as one of the lawyers pointed out to me, you?d be a fool not to take disability upon retirement,? Steve Cohen, of the Attorney General's Office, said.
?It?s a very important hearing ? a lot of money [involved is from] taxpayers ? at a time when they can?t afford it,? Cuomo says.
Cuomo says the purpose of the hearing is to understand the problem, find out why it happened and figure out a way to fix it.To see a clip from Cuomo's hearing, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.
LIRRtries to halt disability benefit gravy trainRaidreported at Westbury railroad retirement officeNYprobes LIRR on report of excessive retiree benefitsPanelto examine MTA, LIRR money problems


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