New York MTA manager spotted driving with blow-up doll to skirt HOV rules, says it's for 'company'
A manager at MTA has been accused of riding shotgun with an inflated doll wearing a suit in order to skirt HOV restrictions. However, Giulio Divirgilio denied the charge when the New York Post confronted him about it outside his office, saying that he drove around with the doll in his Kia Tulluride "for the company."
Divirgilio is a general superintendent at the MTA Buses department located in Brooklyn, and his colleagues suspect that the doll is his ruse to get out of HOV restrictions. The Post confronted him on Wednesday, when Divirgilio pulled up to the Brooklyn building early in the morning with the inflated doll in the passenger seat.
Outside his office building in East New York, Divirgilio denied the accusations of using the inflated doll to dodge HOV restrictions. He claimed that it didn't suit a businessman at his position to illegaly cruise in lanes that are reserved only for vehicles with higher occupancies. He reportedly said, "I don’t use it for the HOV. I use it for the company."
When pressed further about whether he was using the doll to cheat the HOV guidelines, he said, "Have I ever lied to you?"
However, his co-workers don't buy his response.
One of the employees told The Post, "It was weird when we saw that thing [in his car] in the morning. Why would anyone have that there except to do HOV stuff?" Another employee joked about the 'perks' and 'secret stuff' by saying, "It’s unbecoming of a manager. We laugh, but what else is he doing in secret that we don’t know about?"
MTA authorities are reportedly probing if Divirgilio has broken any protocol with his act.
What is Giulio Divirgilio's deal?
Divirgilio used to work for the NYPD, and has been working at MTA for over 10 years now.
It is not uncommon to see inflatable dolls and other artificial dummies placed next to the driver's seat as a way to bypass HOV guidelines. The doll that was in Divirgilio's car was reportedly a 'Carpool Kenny' and is available online for around $15. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 that cops have tried to crack down on the widespread scheme. It was reported that two people were caught with mannequins in their cars in New York in 2019, one in Brooklyn and another on Long Island. Both wer pulled over by cops who suspected funny business after spotting the phony passengers through the windshield. Both the drivers had tried to disguise their plastic pals under baseball caps and hoodies.
Currently, Divirgilio has two parking violations from January to March 2021. Apparently, he was driving around without a front plate. Even on Wednesday, the day of the confrontation, the number plate was missing.