Sign Me Up: BART Janitor Made $270,000; Some Watchdogs Are Wondering Why

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Last year, a janitor working for San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) made $270,000. Most of it came from benefits and $162,000 in overtime. The whopping amount is raising a few eyebrows.

Was it all earned?

At first, it seems like the janitor in question, Liang Zhao Zhang, is just a very hard-working guy. An investigation by local TV station KTVU found that Zhang was paid for every single day in 2015. He also worked overtime most of the time. During one stretch in July of that year, Zhang worked 17-hour days for 18 days straight.

“Super human!” said Robert Fellner, whose government watchdog group Transparent California has examined public employee salary information for years. He says he’s never seen anything like this. BART’s Chief Transportation Officer Roy Aguilera says it’s possible because Zhang never refuses extra work and picks up much of the overtime hours offered, according to the KTVU report.

“People are not raising their hands and saying, ‘I want some of that overtime.’ Mr. Zhang has said yes, he’s worked hard, he’s completed his assignments, so I stand by the work he’s done,” Aguilera said.

Others are not so sure. The agency running BART has never audited Zhang, or the 49 other janitors who made more than $100,000 that year. The KTVU investigation found alleged discrepancies in Zhang’s performance and time sheets.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Gene Marks 



  1. This would never have happened, had it been a private Co. Any adequate managed Co would have figured out to hire the proper amount of people on full avg pay (i.e. TOPS $50K) for Janitorial jobs to do all those “extra” jobs.

    They should investigate the MTA as well, with their ridiculous payments on the back of Tax payers!
    No wonder they keep on complaining they need to raise fares..

  2. vy you put picture, dis iz not su nice, dis iz some won else,
    be cuz he make mach much mur maney yi no
    [sarry my spell vords not so gud]


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