Poor Supervision Cited at NY-Run Steam Plant

ALBANY (AP) -

Poor supervision at the steam plant serving the state government complex in Albany led to behavior by workers that included being drunk on the job, New York’s inspector general reported Monday.

The Office of General Services disciplined seven workers and supervisors with fines ranging from $228 to $13,212, the report said. The intoxicated employee was subject to two years of random drug and alcohol testing. Two others facing disciplinary charges retired last year.

“Only a few years after my office uncovered a significant dereliction of management responsibility leading to grossly improper behavior at OGS, blatant waste, abuse and potentially hazardous conduct continued,” Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said. The agency has taken steps to fortify management, including bimonthly tours of every shift at its facilities statewide, with reports forwarded to her office, she said.

The Sheridan Avenue Steam Plant provides steam for heating and cooling Empire State Plaza. Investigators say an engineer responsible for maintaining boilers exposed thousands of people to potential danger by working while intoxicated, and that two supervisors knew and did nothing.