By: Gwynn Moriarti
File this one under ‘your tax dollars at work.’
A Bronx man who was reportedly dismissed by the Mass Transit Authority has continued to collect paychecks to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars, according to a published report.
A one-time MTA employee was reportedly arrested last week while collecting his paycheck – despite the fact he had been let go years ago.
“Ronald Berry, 47, claims he’s been on sick leave since 2015 for high blood pressure and asthma, and has traveled to a city Transit office on Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard every two weeks to sign in and pick up his dough without a problem,” according to a story in the New York Post. “He collected roughly $250,000 before someone at the MTA realized there was a problem and sounded the alarm, sources told The Post. When Berry showed up on Thursday to flash his identification badge and grab his pay as usual, he was nabbed for trespassing, authorities said. “I never got a call that I was terminated,” a stunned Berry told The Post outside his Bronx home Saturday. “I’ve been collecting checks for four f–king years.”
Interestingly, Berry has spoken at length with the Post. The newspaper reported, “When a Post reporter told Berry he was dismissed way back in 2013, he countered, “So how am I still collecting checks? It’s a fault on the MTA side.” “If I’m terminated, how am I still collecting checks?” Berry said he asked a boss after his arrest. “That’s not my problem, that’s payroll’s problem,” the boss allegedly told him.”
The Post story claimed it is “unclear” how the former train cleaner reportedly managed to get back on the MTA’s payroll four years ago. “A confused Berry claims the agency certainly knows where to find him — they’ve been sending him letters telling him to go to training, including one just last month,” the Post noted. “If I’m terminated why am I getting letters from them?” he said. “The last one I got was at the end of last month and I believe it was for asbestos training or track training.”
Berry fumed: “Now if they would’ve sent me a termination letter, f- -k going to pick a check-up…I’m terminated already, let me file for unemployment.”
“The investigation will follow the facts, and anyone who inappropriately took public money will be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” MTA spokesperson Tim Minton told the newspaper.