MTA Bus Driver gambled in Atlantic City while on paid leave
His luck ran out.
A veteran New York City bus operator is on the outs with the MTA after the authority’s inspector general caught him gambling in Atlantic City on 90 occasions over three years while he was out of work on paid medical or family leave.
The driver, whom the IG’s office declined to name, also visited Hershey Park in Pennsylvania during one of his paid absences, the IG said. Altogether the driver stole 824 hours of pay worth almost $25,000, which he agreed to pay back after getting caught.
“The Bus Operator admitted to the fraud and told the OIG that he has a gambling addiction. However, he stated that he did not seek treatment until after he was contacted by the OIG for an interview,” the IG’s report released Thursday said.
The unnamed operator is the third MTA worker exposed this year for using paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to gamble in Atlantic City. Investigators caught all three men using records from Tropicana Resort and Casino.
Transit officials suspended the bus operator — who started at the MTA in 1996 — in May 2021 in response to the findings. He is now trying to retire, the report said.
“This bus operator violated the trust of his colleagues and the public by abusing the MTA’s Sick Leave policy,” MTA rep Kayla Shults said in a statement. “The MTA takes this very seriously and the bus operator involved was suspended immediately.”