Two more Islip public works managers charged with taking unauthorized golf and boat trips on town time have been penalized, according to town officials and records obtained by Newsday.
The latest disciplinary actions, against Tom Martin and Thomas Pfaffe Jr., bring to five the number of town managers who have resigned or been disciplined after investigations showed that town-issued vehicles were being used for recreational outings during work hours.
Martin had been on paid suspension from his job as fleet service manager pending disciplinary proceedings before his job was eliminated in a round of layoffs in November.
A town-appointed hearing officer on March 28 found him guilty on four disciplinary charges of misconduct and insubordination, for participating in golf and boat outings with colleagues and vendors on town time with a town-issued car, and for disobeying a direct order.
The hearing officer recommended that Martin's employment be officially terminated, a mark on his record that he would have to disclose if he applies for another civil service job, town labor relations director Robert Finnegan said.
The town accepted the recommendation, and last week issued the termination letter.
As result, Martin forfeits $16,495 in sick time payouts, Finnegan said.
Martin's attorney, Pamela Sandmeier of Sound Beach, stressed that her client had been found not guilty on four other charges, including a charge of misconduct for a trip to Montauk with then-Deputy Commissioner Joseph Boccio, whose town-issued vehicle was parked at Gosman's Dock in Montauk for nearly 12 hours on a workday. The hearing officer found that the town presented no evidence that Martin had been there.
"It's an injustice," Sandmeier said. "My client never denied his participation . He was there at the request of his supervisors. He had an unblemished employment record."
Pfaffe had been charged with playing golf with his bosses twice during work hours and once using sick time. He was suspended on March 31 for 30 days and has received a last-chance warning, Finnegan said.
At the time of the golf trips in 2008, documented by the GPS devices in town-issued cars, Pfaffe was executive secretary to then-public works Commissioner Stephen Lapham. Pfaffe is now an assistant construction coordinator at the Islip Resource Recovery Agency, a non-civil service title with a lower salary. Finnegan said the reassignment was unrelated to the town's investigation.
Pfaffe did not respond to a request for comment.
The recent disciplinary actions bring to a close a town investigation started after Newsday submitted Freedom of Information requests in February 2009 for the GPS records of four managers' town-issued vehicles. Islip's commissioner and deputy commissioner of public works subsequently resigned, admitting they had taken personal trips in their town vehicles on workdays. Former highway general supervisor John Hillenbrand was then demoted under a settlement reached in September.