FDNY, DSNY Workers Investigated for Submitting Fake Proof of Vaccination
First, the sanitation workers intentionally slowed down their trash pick-ups in the days before the vaccine mandate went into effect on Nov. 1, and then more than 2,000 firefighters called in sick for several days in a protest that caused 26 firehouses to shutter temporarily, but now, members of both the FDNY and the Department of Sanitation New York (DSNY), are under investigation for submitting cards that fraudulently claimed that they were vaccinated.
Some FDNY members appear to have stolen blank vaccine cards from the FDNY’s Downtown Brooklyn headquarters at 9 MetroTech Center and other locations where the department was providing vaccinations, the New York Post reported.
Anticipating that some members might falsify their vaccinations that were necessary to keep their jobs, as Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Oct. 20, top-ranking FDNY officials were concerned enough about potential fraud to write a memo on Oct. 30 that warned firefighters and Emergency Medical Service workers that forging vaccine cards for “the purpose of proving vaccination compliance” could be a felony.
“There’s a lot of people in trouble,” said an FDNY insider.
The FDNY, of whom 86% have been vaccinated and the DSNY, of whom 87% have gotten their shots, are the two agencies with the lowest vaccination rates.
Not only were some of the blank cards stolen, but some may have been illegally sold.
“There were Venmo transactions involved,” said the FDNY insider, who added that an EMS lieutenant may have coordinated the illicit scheme.
In addition, at least 150 DSNY workers are suspected of handing over phony vaccination verification, and at least 50 sanitation workers have been suspended for submitting the fake cards, which they allegedly obtained through workers at Brooklyn and Staten Island CVS drug stores.
The CVS workers involved in the scheme lied to New York state, when they claimed that some city workers received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson shot, an insider said, however the fraudulent paperwork became apparent when officials noticed that CVS was not distributing J & J vaccines at the time, the insider said.
“I think what they did is extremely stupid,” an insider said. “Either get the vaccine or accept the consequences.
“These are very concerning allegations, and we take them very seriously,” said DSNY spokesman Joshua Goodman, who would not say how many city workers have been suspended. “Getting vaccinated is important to public health, and we do not tolerate anyone faking something that is a requirement of city employment.
“Anyone we find has submitted a fraudulent vaccination card will be suspended without pay."
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