NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – At least three MTA employees converted a storage room at Grand Central Terminal as a “man cave,” according to an internal investigation.
They may get fired after the best kept secret at Grand Central was busted wide open.
Investigators discovered the so-called “man cave” beneath the tracks, hidden away from all the hustle and bustle of the busy transportation hub.
According to the Office of the MTA Inspector General, the room had a futon couch, large flat-screen television with streaming capabilities, a refrigerator, microwave, air conditioning, workout equipment and more – including an open can of beer.
LINK: Read The Inspector General’s Full Report (.pdf)
The inspector general’s report says the slacking employees included a wireman, a carpenter foreman and an electrical foreman.
The MTA called it an unauthorized break room hidden down at the north end of Track 144.
“The employees who were involved are on the overnight shift, but this is an unauthorized break space, unknown to their supervision and completely unacceptable, and behavior that is outrageous and something that I’m very angry about,” said Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North.
Rinaldi says it was a back room in a locksmith storage area.
“Just a completely inappropriate, unacceptable use of their time,” she said.
The inspector general says it made an unannounced visit to the storage area in August 2019 after Metro-North officials failed to investigate complaints about workers using the space to “hang out and get drunk and party.”
The MTA said right after the room was discovered, they checked hundreds of doors, hundreds of offices, to make sure there wasn’t another room like it. They found nothing else.
“Many a New Yorker has fantasized about kicking back with a cold beer in a prime piece of Manhattan real estate – especially one this close to good transportation,” said MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny. “But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal and make it their very own man-cave, sustained with MTA resources, and maintained at our riders’ expense.”
Investigators say the three MTA employees denied having ever been in the room but day they left their fingerprints behind.
They also left behind receipts, streaming devices, personal calendars and exercise equipment.
Investigators were told the room contained “sensitive supplies.”
Commuters who say they’ve dealt with lackluster service for years say if true, shame on them.
“They’re hanging out and they’re supposed to work, that’s not fair,” one commuter told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
“We’re paying money for you to do your job correctly, and you’re hanging around, just chilling. That’s not cool,” another commuter said.
The three workers have been suspended without pay.
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