To re-phrase an old adage, whatever goes up must rise even higher.
The MTA's new fare & toll hikes are a perfect example.We keep paying more and getting less, but how
much of our money funds litigation instead of transportation? The MTA has a large legal staff, but outsources much of its legal work to the politically connected law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP, which bills clients more than $800 an hour and reaped revenues of $700 million in 2013.
Why can't the MTA insource all of its legal work, as most state and city agencies now do? This
setup is like putting a plumber on your payroll and calling RotoRooter to fix a busted toilet.
Perhaps one reason for this lucrative and apparently no-bid outsourcing deal is Proskauer Rose executive Gary J. Dellaverson, who was hired as special counsel in 2010 after serving many years as the MTA's chief labor negotiator and finance officer. Was he hired as a "rainmaker" to bring in new business?
I don't know, but our legislators and local media should find out and tell us why part of our rising fares, tolls and taxes go to high-priced lawyers. They should also investigate what other services the MTA outsources rather than doing cheaper in house.
Bus and subway employees make much less than $800 an hour and they earn their pay. We need more of them and fewer legal hired guns.