Sanitation Department Has Strict Policy Against Tipping

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two longtime New York City sanitation workers have lost their jobs for accepting a small tip from a resident.

The city Conflicts of Interest Board fined the two men $2,000 each and retired them from the agency.

The two workers, Robert Bracone and Rene Torres, are accused of accepting $5 each on Dec. 12, 2011 from a Queens resident who left a huge amount of garbage at the curb.

Bracone had been a sanitation worker since 1986; Torres since 1990, the New York Times reported.

Both men earned over $100,000 including overtime in 2011 as two of New York’s Strongest, according to a website that tracks municipal employee salaries.

The Times reported that according to the workers’ statements provided by the conflicts board, the men asked for $20. However, the resident said he had only $10. The two workers picked up the garbage and then collected the money.

The agency has a strict policy against accepting tips, and the department said soliciting or accepting a bribe violates New York City law.

A spokesperson for the Sanitation Department told the Times it was unclear what kind of punishment the workers might have faced since they left their jobs before the case was resolved.

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