By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — A company that subcontracted with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on a massive tunneling project was found to be associated with organized crime members, the New York Times reported.
New York Dirt, which had been hauling debris related to the MTA’s East Side Access project to extend the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central Terminal, has been prohibited from doing work in the city as a result of the findings by the city’s Business Integrity Commission.
Wiretaps and affidavits detailed a meeting between company officials and a mob figure who bragged about helping the company land a contract for another massive public works project, the Times reported.
The company’s owner denied the allegations, and a spokesperson for the MTA said a new subcontractor would be put on the project starting next month, the paper said.
The issue creates questions over the cash-strapped MTA’s vetting of subcontractors, which handle more than half the authority’s jobs, in an industry that suffers from pervasive corruption, the Times reported.
New York Dirt’s owner fought the charges by noting he testified against the organized crime member he was accused of working with, but the Business Integrity Commission determined that the owner sought out the mobster out voluntarily, the paper said.