Councilman: Feds Open Probe In Alleged Slowdown

Brooklyn Borough Prez: Now We Find Out How Deep It Runs

NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty gives his men a grade of A-plus for how they handled the blizzard clean-up job. But he may want to re-evaluate that after taking a look at some new video.

The footage obtained by CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer leaves little room for doubt. The plow on a sanitation truck could be seen in the up position, not removing the snow as it moved down East 24th Street in Midwood during the blizzard.

There were also images of a plow on 26th Street and Avenue N that couldn’t possibly clear the street because it was attached wrong, running parallel to the snow.

PHOTO GALLERIES: Blizzard Slams East Coast | User-Submitted Pictures

Now, Queens Councilman Dan Halloran said the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has opened a criminal probe after sanitation and DOT workers came forward with evidence of a work slowdown.

“They were told that they wouldn’t be pressed if they missed routes. It would be okay, ‘don’t worry about skipping a street. Don’t work too hard,'” Halloran told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

WCBS 880 Reporter Marla Diamond talks with Councilman Halloran about the investigation.

The Councilman said workers were also told that they wouldn’t be written up or “tightly scrutinized.”

“We have some video of sanitation trucks not plowing streets despite being on plow routes.  Some units were sitting at Dunkin Donuts for 7,8, 9, 10 hours,” Halloran said.

Additional footage showed a V-shaped plow on East 24th Street and Quentin Road in the Madison section of Brooklyn that appears to have been set at the wrong angle because while it moved some snow, it also left much of the white stuff on the road behind it.

All of the pictures raise new questions about what some sanitation workers were doing during the blizzard.

“If there were many trucks that did not have their plows down somebody gave them the order and we have to find out who that was,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told Kramer.

It’s a good question and one that will certainly be asked by the bevy of district attorneys and federal prosecutors investigating the city’s response to the blizzard.

“Was this a concerted effort? Was it a city-wide effort? Was it a wildcat effort? Was it an individual effort? We have to find that out,” Markowitz said.

Meanwhile, there was a gaping difference of opinion between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his sanitation commissioner about the snow removal job. Doherty gave his men the highest of marks, but the mayor disagreed.

“I would give our grade as unacceptable. I’ve said that and we’re going to try to figure out why and make it better,” Bloomberg said.

So damaged is the mayor’s reputation from his response to the blizzard that some city officials said privately they hope that there’s another storm, in the hope that it can help restore his image.

While the city continues to clear snow and pick up the mountains of trash on the street alternate side of the street parking is suspended through Saturday.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • HAHA

    You cant attach a plow wrong because of the frame is designed it was tripping to protect the truck/ Plow/ And street and you can clearly tell that the street didn’t need to be plowed and that the driver was sanding also you cant adjust the angle unless you replace the plow… as said above he was doing it intentionality.

  • Get them, Nail them & Cuff them

    Our last regular garbage pickup by DSNY was 12 days ago and what a snow job they did for the neighborhood, stranding MTA city buses and police cars, among others that were BLOCKING the streets – neighbor’s 4WD couldn’t make it thru those deep snow drifts.

    Let’s start dumping our household garbage in front of the local sanitation depot/garage since they seemed be on their unionized coffee breaks elsewhere.

    • Get them, Nail them & Cuff them

      Just captured our first garbage pickup post blizzard on our security videocam aimed on the street, sanitation truck rolled up – started throwing garbage into the back from one side of our narrow street only, then in the middle of the block, backed up slowly with the warning beeps, back to the start of the block, then started picking up garbabe on the other side of the street.

      Interesting huh – never seen this before, trucks usually keep going & don’t backup for different sides of a narrow street – not a slow-down ?? I wonder ….

  • Frank

    I think it’s funny watching the morons speculate what happened when they have no clue what they are talking about.

  • vin

    unions are the downfall of this country

  • Fox Mulder

    The truth is out there. Trust no one.

  • Bill

    Is that a Federal crime?

  • kete

    Its no brainer. Obvious slowdown. If Doharty does not get it then he has a serious problem. First snow and now garbage bags. There is something seriously wrong about it. And all those higher up morons give A plus to each other.
    You scratch my back I scratch yours.
    What proof they need to prove something so obvious.

  • snowman

    You union crooks are still lying and spinning the obvious. i guess you will sell us the brooklyn bridge next?
    What a joke, you get a A+ for your effort to lie and to deceive. How arrogant and irresponsible?!

  • Dennis

    Meanwhile, when the hell is the garbage going to be picked up? It’s going on 13 days since the last pick up. Where else but NYC would garbage be laying on the sidewalks all this time.

  • John

    Keep up the good work CBS! Great job.

  • Hot Blooded

    Looks like wcbs 2 is trying to out post the NYPOST. I have my doubts about the so called unnamed sanitation workers who told this story in the first place. I never read The Post because I dont believe anything they write. This story is way out of line. Those pictures are misleading, as the other reader comments show.

  • Sick of it

    these reporters should go to jail, the plow on the spreader is up because the street is plowed its spreading salt. the second one the plow has tripped( a safety measure that ensures when the plow hits a pothole or such it gives way instead of ripping the manhole out of the ground) and the v plow left a little snow which would be pushed aside by other plows. Stop saying you have exclusive news and pics when you have zero zilch nada. Just people making up nonsense and reporters running with it like a giant game of f ‘ in telephone

    • kete

      Looks like you are part of the problem.

    • Anon

      Are you blind?

  • willnevergiveup

    Does anyone know specifically, which union (No. & Name) do these folks belong to?



  • chris

    The chain on the plow is broken which is why it’s in that position. Anyone who plows would have known that. I doubt they would have rolled out onto the street with the plow like that.



    • Mike

      Day after the blizzard, a truck with its plough firmly attached moved through my block twice, not one bit of snow was plowed, cleaned or paved. I looked at the driver, he smiled, another truck returned 5 days later. During that time there was chaos, no EMS vehicle can pass, people walk all over the road, cars were stuck. That’s the plain truth for 5 days



  • Steve M.

    I didn’t realize Marcia Kramer knew all about plowing snow….She’s truly multi-talented

  • Richard Distefano

    I saw video of the salt truck with the plow up. It looked to me like he was moving at a good clip which tells me that block was already plowed and that he was supposed to be spreading salt. I see that on my street all the time, not enough snow to plow, but need salt.

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