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Free E-ZPass for dead MTA board members

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Free E-ZPass for dead MTA board members

The dead don't drive - but some deceased MTA board members still have free E-ZPass accounts.

 

As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority considers revoking free E-ZPasses of former board members, three who died are on the list provided to the Daily News last week.

 

Robert Waldbauer died in November 2005 while Eben Pyne and Herbert Libert passed away last month. An MTA spokesman last night said there has been no activity on the three accounts for at least two years.

 

The MTA is considering putting an end to its practice of providing free travel perks - including subway, bus and commuter railroad passes - to former board members, sources said late yesterday.

 

Officials are discussing with state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office changes to its policy, the sources said.

 

On Tuesday, Benjamin Lawsky, deputy counselor and special assistant to Cuomo, warned the MTA by letter that the no-charge passes to both current or former board members were illegal because board members by law are to "serve without salary or other compensation."

 

The warning came a day after an exclusive News report Monday that nearly 60 current and former board members have free E-ZPass accounts, some of which go back decades. One former board member has eight no-charge E-ZPass tags while some with the perk have at least three tags.

 

"Government agencies must follow the law just like everyone else," Cuomo spokesman John Milgrim said. "Public integrity is a top priority for the attorney general and he will continue to pursue government waste, fraud, and abuse."

 

Changes would need approval by the MTA board, which voted yesterday morning behind closed doors to challenge Cuomo's opinion.

 

Mayor Bloomberg said the lost MTA revenue is trivial but still criticized giving free travel passes to board members.

 

"The first thing I would do would be to cancel it because I think the optics of it look terrible," Bloomberg said.

 

The state Thruway Authority yesterday canceled the free E-ZPass privileges it had extended to seven current and former members of its governing board.

 

Earlier this week, Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward rescinded the no-charge passes issued to former Port Authority commissioners.

 

From: nydailynews_logo.gif icon_offsite.png - May 29, 2008

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Um... these people that they are talking about have kicked the bucket already. Don't know how they could pay, if they could even use E-Z Pass, unless there's a tollbooth into Heaven or Hell or wherever they're going.

 

For the living people, no perks. Make them pay full fare. No discounts.

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Um... these people that they are talking about have kicked the bucket already. Don't know how they could pay, if they could even use E-Z Pass, unless there's a tollbooth into Heaven or Hell or wherever they're going.

 

For the living people, no perks. Make them pay full fare. No discounts.

 

Heh... EZPass is on the Highway to Heaven?

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