November 2017

Legislation to address NY “shorting” not settled


Two years after criminal investigators shut down nine corrupt heating oil companies, city lawmakers have declined to vote on a bill to crack down on crooked fuel truck drivers in the future.

The inaction has frustrated current and former investigators at the New York City Business Integrity Commission, known as BIC, who say a rip-off known as oil tank “shorting” continues to be pervasive.

Dominick Albergo, a lead investigator in the 2015 case, said that without reform, some of the people he put behind bars are likely to come back out and start shorting customers’ oil tanks again.

“I can tell you there are people who are sitting in jail right now that would be happy to come out and buy oil trucks and go right back to the old game,” Albergo said.

Despite warnings from law enforcement that drivers are stealing from customers this winter, City Council members told the I-Team they are heeding the concerns of heating oil companies and the union that represents fuel truck drivers – both of whom oppose the reform bill.

“I could bring this to a vote,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Bushwick), who chairs the Sanitation Committee. “I just can’t. Right now the parties involved, including the Teamsters, the [oil] industry, council members and myself, and BIC have not come to an agreement as to what this legislation should look like at the end date.”

The heating oil reform proposal, known as Bill 1268, would give BIC broad authority to license and regulate fuel truck drivers in much the same way BIC currently monitors truck drivers who cart refuse for one of the city’s private garbage haulers.

Article courtesy: WNBC-TV (4) New York