NEW YORK – Three Metro-North employees were suspended without pay after anonymous tips to an MTA complaint hotline lead to the discovery of a ‘man cave’ under Grand Central Terminal where the workers would “hang out and get drunk and party,” according to Office of the Inspector General.
An investigation last month found that the secret room below track 114 and behind a locked door was outfitted with a futon couch, large flat-screen television with a streaming device, air conditioning, refrigerator, microwave, workout equipment and hide-a-way beds. Wooden boxes were used to hide the futon and TV.
“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,” said MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny. “But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal & make it their very own man-cave, sustained with MTA resources, and maintained at our riders’ expense.”
Officials at Grand Central told inspectors that they were unaware the unauthorized break room existed or who had access to the room. The location in an unmapped room presented significant health and safety risks including the inability for rescue personnel to access the room.
Personal property including a streaming device connected to a hotspot, calendars and a pull -up bar with one of the workers’ name on it implicated the employees, according to the report. The workers include a wireman, carpenter foreman and an electrical foreman. A supervisor is accused of lying to the OIG about one of the worker’s whereabouts.
The OIG is asking the public to submit complaints, tips, or to report fraud via the Office’s confidential tip reporting portals here, or call 1-800-MTA-IG4U (1-800-682-4448) or email [email protected].