Truesee's Daily Wonder

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

 

Employees used tax dollars to build drug den in Capitol

YOUR TAXES BUILT THIS DRUG DEN

STATE STAFFERS HUNG OUT IN 'MAN CAVE' AT WORK

 

JENNIFER FERMI

New York Post

Last updated: 9:00 am
July 22, 2009
Posted: 1:54 am
July 22, 2009

Two state employees, accused of fashioning a secret "man cave" at the Capitol Building in Albany so they could watch TV, smoke dope and zone out on the taxpayer's dime, racked up nearly $30,000 in overtime, according to state records.

A spokesman for the state Inspector General Joseph Fisch said the cumulative overtime payouts of $28,400 over the past five years are part of the sweeping investigation into the secret, unauthorized party lounge, tucked inside a maintenance area of a Capitol garage facility.

Louis Marciano, 50, a supervisor with the state Office of General Services, and Gary Pivoda, a cleaner working under him, decked out their lair with a TV, board games, DVDs and couches, said Fisch, who raided the hideout and issued a devastating report last week.

Investigators found rolling papers and marijuana scales, authorities said. They dubbed it a "man cave" before dismantling the room.

Marciano and Pivoda allegedly showed up for work every day at 4 p.m., immediately lit up a joint, then zonked out on the couch while their co-workers did the cleaning in the state-owned Empire State Plaza garage.

Pivoda, 48, of upstate Latham, however, did more than just chill, according to state investigators.

He allegedly tooled around the Capitol neighborhood making drug deliveries in his OGS truck to other state employees, as well as electricians and plumbers.

Both have been suspended without pay, and Pivoda has been charged with marijuana possession and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

Pivoda, who has worked for the state for nine years, was paid an annual salary of $29,600 and his cumulative overtime for the past five years was more than $4,700, according to records from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Pivoda declined comment.

His boss, Marciano, had spent 31 years as a state employee and was paid a salary of $37,470. He racked up a cumulative $23,738 in overtime since July 2004, according to the comptroller's report.

An OGS spokesman said Marciano's job entitles him to overtime because he's required to clean up after summer concerts and remove snow in the winter.

"This kind of behavior won't be tolerated by the state. We went straight to the inspector general when we learned of this behavior," said spokesman Bard Maione.

In announcing the suspensions, Fisch said, "Public employees are paid to work for the good of New York."

Marciano's lawyer, Lee Kindlon, described his client as "a blue-collar guy, salt of the earth" and insisted Marciano had earned the overtime fairly.

"He earned overtime approval from the state. It hasn't been an issue until now," he said.

Kindlon characterized the "man cave" as a break room.

"Initially, it was a place to get out of the cold. They didn't really provide a break room for him," said Kindlon.

He pointed out, "I've got a break room with a refrigerator in it."

 

 

'DOPE': Gary Pivoda is accused of smoking dope

in this homemade lounge in a government

garage.

 

 

'DOPE': Gary Pivoda is accused of smoking dope

in this homemade lounge (above) in

a government garage.


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