New York City’s ethics watchdog has fined three city employees: a mortuary technician who accepted tips from funeral directors for moving corpses; a civil-service monitor who copied test applicants’ names and emails to promote his radio show; and a school principal who took rides from subordinates without compensation.
The fines were set by the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board, the watchdog agency that disciplines hundreds of city workers for ethics lapses every year.
The three admitted to the violations and agreed to pay the fines, according legal papers provided by the board.
Lawrence Walker, the forensic mortuary technician, who worked for the medical examiner’s office, accepted tips of $5 on at least 10 occasions since 2016, despite being told that he should never solicit or accept gratuities. Walker agreed to pay a fine of $1,500 to resolve the tips violation and other disciplinary matters.
Kwame Thompson, the civil-service monitor, agreed to a fine of $3,000, after admitting he copied the names and email addresses of test applicants on every day he worked — for a total of 168 people — so he could use the information to promote a planned online radio show. The city fired him from his post and banned him from future work with the agency, but agreed to forgive the fine because of financial and medical hardship. He never used the addresses.
Erica Zigelman, the principal of Middle School 322 in Manhattan, admitted to having subordinates, including an untenured teacher, regularly drive her to school. At one point Zigelman sent an email to a group of teachers asking for rides. She did not pay for the rides.
She was fined $3,500. A decade ago, she had been disciplined by the board with a $3,000 fine for having a math, English and Spanish teacher tutor her daughter for no pay.
None of the three fined employees could be reached for comment.