Racial Photos Lead to Suspension at MTA

A racially improper Halloween costume has led to the suspension of an electricians supervisor at the MTA. 

Richardo Ranello was indefinitely suspended from his $246,000 dollar a year job after pictures of him dressed in blackface showed up on Facebook. The photograph shows Ranello dressed up like a black lawn jockey. Not only is his face painted black but he is wearing a blue-and-white checkered jockey uniform and carrying a railroad-style lantern.

An article posted in the New York Post claims workers at the MTA reported the incident to supervisors after the photograph showed up on social media in 2013 but nothing was done. When Ranello was promoted despite the complaint to management, the MTA workers took their story to NBC 4.

MTA chairman Joe Lhota claimed he knew nothing about the incident until he saw the expose' on television this week. Lhota described Ranello's actions as racist and said he would investigate the merits of his promotion. Lhota also said MTA officials were going to see what kind of discipline Rapallo's labor contract allows.

MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein released a statement saying, Ranello is being withheld from service indefinitely by order of Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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