State agency for disabled let unlicensed staff drive clients

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state agency that cares for the disabled has racked up hundreds of unpaid traffic tickets and thousands of dollars in fines.

According to a new audit released Monday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the Office for the Protection of People with Disabilities allowed seven staffers with suspended licenses to drive vehicles assigned to transport clients. Agency drivers received tickets for speeding through school zones more than 270 times between 2015 and this year.

The audit concluded that the agency does a poor job of monitoring the driving records of state employees whose jobs involve transporting disabled New Yorkers. DiNapoli, a Democrat, says the review found a “troubling” lack of regard for safety.

In response, the agency pledged to improve how it checks employee driving records.

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