Nov. 4, 2022, began as a normal day for Jean Trojanoski. The 79-year-old Islip Town employee was at her part-time job at the town’s Parking Violations Bureau, working on a letter that she was …
Nov. 4, 2022, began as a normal day for Jean Trojanoski. The 79-year-old Islip Town employee was at her part-time job at the town’s Parking Violations Bureau, working on a letter that she was going to send out and drinking her coffee.
Around 10 a.m., Trojanoski received a call asking her to report to personnel right away. Upon arriving at personnel, Trojanoski said that three men met her in a conference room and questioned her about waiving penalties when she was not authorized to do so. She was dumbfounded.
“It was always the impression that we had the authority to use our discretion,” Trojanoski said. She noted that one reason a penalty might be waived is that someone received a violation, mailed in their payment, and then the payment ended up in the wrong location because of the mail carrier. However, without seeing any backup paperwork, she could not know why a particular violation had been waived.
During an interview with the Suffolk County News, she noted that she has been performing her job the same way for 19 years and had never been told to do anything different. She said that she was told during the meeting that she cost the town “thousands of dollars” from March 24, 2022 to Oct. 10, 2022.
Before this meeting, Trojanoski said she was never told that she was doing her job incorrectly. She noted that if she knew she was doing something wrong, she would have stopped. At the conclusion of the meeting, Trojanoski was told to hand in her keys and leave the office.
The whole encounter baffled Trojanoski, who had never before been fired from a job or received a bad review. In June 2022, she received a raise of $2 an hour from the town.
About an hour and a half after her meeting with personnel, Trojanoski received a call from one of her former coworkers, who was distraught. Two other women from the Parking Violations Bureau had been questioned and suspended without pay for 30 days.
Trojanoski said that in the past year, the job function at the bureau changed due to a new company hired to process tickets issued by the town. She asserts that she and her coworkers were not provided with the proper training on the new system and that questions to her direct supervisor were never answered or ignored.
Trojanoski was charged with causing loss of revenue, which amounted to $675. She was also charged with entering false data/resetting fine data. She said that she did not understand these charges “except that it might refer to mail returns, which I was instructed if we got a mail return of late notices, we were to resend to the forwarding address, correct the address on the computer, and reset a late fee.” Finally, Trojanoski was charged with insubordination and failure to follow a directive, and said she did not know anything about a directive.
Trojanoski was meant to have a hearing on Dec. 9 for her case. However, due to her age and the stress of attending a hearing, she did not feel comfortable attending. Her non-attendance at the meeting resulted in a guilty verdict on her charges.
After reaching out to the Town of Islip for a comment, they confirmed that Trojanoski did work for the Parking Violations Bureau, but said they could not comment on personnel issues. In addition, Trojanoski wrote a letter to Islip Town supervisor Angie Carpenter on Dec. 2 informing her of the predicament, but as of print time she has not received any response.
“These are elderly women who are frightened by what’s been done to them,” said Steve Politi, an attorney brought on by one of the women to look at the case, although it is now over. “They’re horrified by the allegations. It is an absolute disgrace.”
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