Are New York City's Liquor Inspectors Drinking on Taxpayers' Dime?
Well, this should make some New Yorkers very unhappy: the New York Daily News reports that inspectors from the New York State Liquor Authority are racking up pricy bills while investigating restaurants and bars in New York City.
Inspectors have allegedly been boozing it up on the taxpayers' dime while investigating restaurants and bars suspected of serving alcoholic drinks outdoors, violating state liquor laws. In one case, two inspectors racked up a $54 tab drinking Bud Lights at a restaurant, while another pair of inspectors racked up a $73 tab at the Bowery Hotel for a glass of wine and a Veev Acai cocktail. According to the New York Daily News, "The roughly 10 inspectors covering 35,000 bars, clubs and restaurants in the city expensed a total of $3,481 in drinks and food over the past three years, records show."
Perhaps that sounds like petty change in the grand scheme, but the New York State Liquor Authority allegedly issued a memo in response to the Daily News' investigation, urging investigators to be more discreet. According to a memo published by the Daily News, the board reminded its investigators that they are only "authorized to purchase the minimal and most inexpensive items" on the menu.
The agency spokesperson responded saying that it's necessary for investigators to go (and drink) in pairs, because they may not get served if by themselves. “State Liquor Authority resources are used in a cost-effective manner,” said William Crowley to the Daily News. Still, you better hit up New York City's best spots for day drinking before the investigators come knocking and drink all the booze. (We kid, kind of.)