Former MTA Chief Operating Officer Mario Peloquin raked in $412K

In 2020, an ex-MTA executive was paid $412K for operating from Canada during the pandemic.

According to a report released Friday, an MTA executive who spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada before resigning last month earned one of the highest executive salaries in the agency's history.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority survey, former Chief Operating Officer Mario Peloquin earned $411,969 last year, more than any other agency employee.

When he was recruited in November 2019, MTA officials said he would be paying $325,000, but the haul was $86,000 more. It's also a $50,000 raise over MTA Chairman Patrick Foye's salary from the previous year.

 Mario Peloquin
 Mario Peloquin

Peloquin spent the rest of the second half of 2020 in Ontario, helping the MTA deal with the pandemic. In February, he resigned to "pursue other prospects" and return to his Canadian home.

Peloquin was hired in 2019 as part of a state-mandated reorganization of the MTA, which saw former NYC Transit President Andy Byford resign. Anthony McCord, a Canadian, was also hired as "chief transformation officer" as a result of the reorganization.

McCord's annual salary was reported at $325,000 when he was hired in late 2019; he earned $356,707 the previous year, according to the survey. According to MTA officials, the two executives received tens of thousands of dollars in additional compensation from retirement benefits and reimbursements for moving expenses from Canada.

Peloquin's role as chief operating officer was created to fill the position of MTA executive director, which was held by Ronnie Hakim until her retirement in late 2019. According to the survey, Peloquin earned $53,000 more last year than Hakim did during her final year at the MTA.

In 2020, the MTA's top ten highest-paid workers were all men.

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