The City of New York has agreed to pay a $5.3 million settlement after falsely claiming the number of fleet vehicles damaged during Hurricane Sandy.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, it was the second costliest storm to hit the U.S., after Hurricane Katrina. Following the storm, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) submitted a request to the the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recover the full cost of replacing 132 NYCDOT vehicles. But many of the vehicles listed were non-operational or not in use prior to the storm.
The city admitted that a number of vehicles for which is received reimbursement were not operational prior to Sandy, and that the NYCDOT Deputy Commissioner who signed the certification did not have sufficient personal knowledge of the vehicles to provide certification.
It also admitted that the situation was brought to the NYCDOT Deputy Commissioner’s attention in 2014, but the city did not take steps to notify FEMA until an investigation was opened by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General.
In addition to paying a $5.3 million settlement, the city withdrew another $3 million in indemnity requests for costs that were also ineligible for reimbursement.