The room is equipped with a wall-mounted TV with a streaming device, a futon bed, a refrigerator, an air mattress and a microwave, Metropolitan Transportation Authority inspector Carolyn Bockerny said in a statement Thursday.
“Many New Yorkers have imagined kicking off a major piece of Manhattan real estate with cold beer – especially as it’s close to good traffic,” Pogarni said in an online statement. “But for some it will be Chatspa to command a secret room beneath the Grand Central Terminal, and it will be converted into its own man-cave with MDA resources and maintained at the expense of our riders.”
The Inspector General’s Office (OIG) found:
– Half-consuming beer in the refrigerator and an empty can in the trash
– A clear plastic bag filled with sheets and comfort
– A lock worker hides a cabinet pull-out bed in the store storage area
The MDA said there was ample evidence that employees with three Metro-North railroads: a wireman, a carpenter foreman and an electrical foreman used the unauthorized break room several times. It is unclear whether staff used the room while on the clock.
All three were suspended without pay until their disciplinary inquiries, the MDA report said.
This room was announced anonymously last year
The office of the MDA Inspector General said that an anonymous complaint was received in February 2019 about the room. In the complaint he described the same three particular employees as “coming out and getting drunk and having dinner”. Second, a similar complaint was made in late June 2019.
It is not clear when the unauthorized space room was first created and how long it was in use.
According to the MDA report, the complaints were handed over to the Metro-Northern Railway Safety Department for investigation, but the MDA Inspector General’s Office found that the complaints were never heeded during its investigation.
“The behavior described in the IG’s report is outrageously inappropriate and inconsistent with Metro-North’s values and commitment to providing a safe, reliable and cost-effective service to our customers,” said Catherine Rinaldi, Head of Metro-Northern Railway.
Grand Central Station management did not even know investigators had that room, let alone that it was a lock worker storage room, the report said. The wiring of the TV and streaming device was said to have created a fire hazard and “the MNR fire brigade considers it an unoccupied room, for which no one seems to be too dangerous.”
“Risks to staff with the door locked in that room create a variety of risks, including the inability of rescue workers to access the room quickly.”