Savino Leads Senate Investigation Into Accidental Transfer Of $300 Million To Retired Cops, Firefighters

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Source: Thomas Good via Wikimedia Commons

The glasses are coming off for this one. State Senator Diane Savino (Source: Thomas Good via Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, the city mistakenly transferred nearly $300 million into the bank accounts of 31,000 retired cops and firefighters, a blunder that State Senator Diane Savino and other Senate leaders will soon investigate through hearings.

The Daily News wrote:

The city Financial Information Services Agency, which is jointly overseen by the offices of the city controller and the mayor, electronically transferred a $12,000-per-person supplement normally distributed in December. The city on Friday began getting the money back.

“This is a major screwup,” said Sen. Diane Savino, the Staten Island Democrat who chairs the Senate Labor Committee that will hold the hearing jointly with the chamber’s Civil Service and Pensions Committee. “How do you just release $300 million? How does that happen?

City officials blamed a coding error as the city was testing out a new direct-deposit program.

But Savino and the other members of the committee aren’t satisfied with that excuse. Savino said they will try to find out if there were oversight problems or software glitches. Savino and her colleagues also hope to find out whether or not similar incidents have occurred before.

In the meantime, JPMorgan Chase, the city’s custodian bank, restored all funds to the pension system as it works to recover the payouts from the retirees.