After a tragic accident on an LIRR train involving a drunk passenger, the MTA board announced in December that they might consider a ban on alcohol sales on MetroNorth and Long Islrand Rail Road trains. Clearly, commuters looking to take the edge off a busy day at work were none too thrilled about this news.
But all is not what it seems, as the New York Post reported on Tuesday. According to an exclusive report, the board member behind the drive to ban alcohol sales, Mitchell Pally, works for the law firm that represents many of the bars and restaurants in Penn Station. These bars and restaurants would clearly benefit from a ban of on-board alcohol sales on commuter trains.
Long Island Rail Road bartenders, who fear their jobs are on the line, say it was only after Mitchell Pally was hired three months ago to handle “government relations” at the Weber Law Group, a Melville-based firm, that talk of the prohibition began.
“We’ve all been wondering where this whole thing came from, and when we checked the company’s Web site, we thought we may have our answer,” said one LIRR bar-cart attendant, who asked not to be identified.
Other MTA board members say this conflict of interests certainly raises some eyebrows, and they’ll be looking into it before issuing any decision on an alcohol ban.