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A veteran supervisor in the city's streets division has been suspended after officials said he let a crew leave four hours early one night last week. Public Works Commissioner Joseph N. Giambra acknowledged Wednesday that there have been "rumors" of other incidents when streets employees have left before their shifts ended.

"We hope it's not a systemic problem, but we're going to keep an eye on things," he said.

Giambra confirmed that Joseph A. Greco was suspended without pay for 10 days, effective last Friday. He said the immediate suspension occurred after officials learned that 15 employees assigned to the second shift left early.

Giambra said Greco defended the action by saying that the employees had completed their work, so he let them go home. The commissioner said that while the agreement between the city and the union allows sanitation division workers assigned to garbage routes to leave when their work is done, streets division employees do not have that privilege.

"Besides, there was plenty of work to do. Leaves are all over the place," Giambra said.

He said the penalty wasn't more severe because Greco has a good track record.

"He has 41 years (with the city), and we've never had any problems before," Giambra said.

Greco could not be reached to comment, nor could the head of the union that represents city blue-collar workers.

Public Works officials said they did not know if American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 264 plans on challenging the disciplinary action.


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