Cut wires found on new LIRR clock in Jamaica, Queens

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- An investigation is underway after an MTA clock in Queens was found with cut wires.

The new biometric clock was installed at the LIRR Jamaica station to monitor when workers clock in and out, to help keep track of overtime

The fact that the wire was cut is significant because workers have been battling the MTA over the amount of overtime they can earn.

The MTA's new Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny directed the investigation and inspected the scene of the incident.

"Biometric clocks are being installed across the MTA to prevent overtime abuse and protect taxpayer dollars, and it is shocking and unacceptable to learn that one of these devices has been sabotaged," Pokorny said. "This office will have zero tolerance for any sabotaging of the equipment that is vital for ensuring the integrity of our timekeeping system."

But the General Chairman of the LIRR's largest union hit back at railroad management and the MTA, suggesting an alternative explanation for the severed cable that the MTA blamed on a saboteur.

"I think before we go out with a full press release calling it 'sabotage,' they should fully investigate to be sure it was, in fact, sabotage and not an issue with installation," said Anthony Simon, General Chairman of SMART Transportation Division, the railroad's largest union.

"That should take place first," he said, "before passing judgement on railroad employees."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the confidential MTA IG tip line: 1-800-682-4448.

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