NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York City sanitation worker has been forced to take early retirement for accepting a $20 tip while on the job.

A neighbor gave 56-year-old Lenworth Dixon the tip for helping remove a large amount of furniture and other trash in front of her Queens home in September, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

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According to the city charter, public servants are forbidden to accept gratuities for performing any official duty. City rules don’t differentiate between a bribe and a tip.

The 25-year veteran city sanitation worker was forced to retire from his $73,000-a-year job and pay a $1,500 fine.

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“He’s not a thief, you know, they could give him a warning, but to fire him? This sounds like a set up,” Dixon’s landlady Erma McPhatter told Rivera. “Something’s wrong there.”

McPhatter said Dixon told her he’s packing it in and heading south in April.

Dixon couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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