Spurred by the case of a burly driver who molested a teenage boy on an empty bus, MTA officials on Wednesday announced that they will no longer hire people with felony and certain misdemeanor convictions.
In the past, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would consider people with felony convictions for employment if some years had passed since the crime, and as long as they qualified for the job, said Marc Littman, a spokesman for the agency.
But the conviction of Anthony Zaragoza--a 325-pound father of three--for molesting a 140-pound, 15-year-old boy from North Carolina in June 2001 prompted the MTA to change its hiring policy. People who have plea-bargained felony charges down to misdemeanor convictions also will be barred from being hired, Littman said.
He called what Zaragoza did inexcusable and tragic, but he said the incident should not be used to portray all MTA buses as dangerous.