Double standard? NYC garbage men fined for taking tips

Posted at 11:16 AM, Jun 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-26 11:41:51-04

CORONA, QUEENS (PIX11) —  Two Department of Sanitation workers, Robert Bracone and Rene Torres, both veterans of more than 20 years were reported to their department for accepting a tip of $10 split between them, just $5 each for removing two pieces of wood board, two bundles of wood, a rug, two bags of recycling and five bags of household garbage back in 2011 from a home in Corona, Queens.

Nearly two years later, the two were fined and both have since resigned because accepting the tip meant the two violated city statutes.

One stated, “No  public servant shall use or attempt to use his or her position as a public servant to obtain any  financial  gain, contract,  license, privilege  or  other  private or personal advantage, direct or indirect for the public servant or any person or firm associated with the  public servant.”

The second statute stated, “No public servant shall receive compensation except from the city for performing any official duty or accept or receive any gratuity  from any  person  whose  interests  may  be  affected by the public servant’s official action.”

In a simply worded disposition to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board, both Bracone and Torres admitted to violating both statutes and soliciting for 20 dollars when they were instead given 10.

As a result Bracone and Torres had to pay a fine of $2,000 and both acknowledged to retired from DSNY, while disciplinary charges were still pending.