Hudson Valley News
10:50 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Audit Finds Improper Commute Payments For TZ Bridge Project Employees

Credit Courtesy of the New York State Thruway Authority

An audit from the New York State comptroller’s office finds that a state agency improperly paid commuting expenses to employees working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The audit from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office shows that the state Department of Transportation improperly paid nearly $321,000 to eight employees working on the Tappan Zee Bridge project for their commute to work in Tarrytown. And the audit finds this came after an internal audit identified such expenses as inappropriate. The audit says that as a result of the improper reimbursement, the DOT may have failed to report nearly $227,000 in travel expenses to the proper taxing authorities for three calendar years. The audit shows that while DOT selected Tarrytown for the Tappan Zee Bridge project office in 2007 and assigned eight employees to work there, DOT incorrectly designated Poughkeepsie as each employee’s office. DOT officials attributed this problem to administrative error. Overall, DOT officials agreed with the audit’s recommendations.