NEW YORK — What’s not to love about prime real estate adjacent to world-class transportation in one of the world’s most vibrant cities?
Three New York transit employees who had been using Metro-North Railroad’s Grand Central Terminal as their own personal “man cave” might count unpaid suspensions among the problems with their idyllic scenario being detected.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny released an investigative report Thursday that found at least three employees had used one of the terminal’s storage rooms for their hideaway, complete with a futon couch, a large flat-screen television with a streaming device, air conditioning, refrigerator, microwave, workout equipment, hide-a-way beds and more, WABC reported.
“Many a New Yorker has fantasized about kicking back with a cold beer in a prime piece of Manhattan real estate - especially one this close to good transportation,” Pokorny said in a statement. “But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal and make it their very own man-cave, sustained with MTA resources, and maintained at our riders' expense.”
Pokorny’s office learned of the man cave in February after someone sent an anonymous email complaining that it was being used for drinking and partying, NBC News reported.
According to the statement, fire officials said the space presented “significant” safety hazards and could not be located on any maps.
The three employees – identified only as a wireman, a carpenter foreman and an electrical foreman – were linked to the unauthorized breakroom via personal property easily traced back to them. All three have been served with disciplinary charges and suspended without pay pending resolution of their individual cases, WABC reported.
“The behavior described in the IG’s report is outrageously inappropriate and is not consistent with Metro-North’s values and the commitment that we have to providing safe, reliable and cost-efficient service to our customers,” Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said in a statement. “All three employees were immediately suspended without pay and are being disciplined in accordance with their collective bargaining agreements.”
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