Keys to the City In the Wrong Hands

A set of keys that can open any door in the city was sold on the internet last week and one city councilman is drafting legislation that would enforce stricter penalties if that were to happen again in the future.

According to several reports, but first reported by the New York Post, one set of five master keys was put up for auction on eBay and sold by a New Jersey man, Daniel Ferraris, for $150 dollars to a post reporter.

The set of keys can open many structures in the city, including firehouses, subway entrances, elevators and traffic-light relays.

One reason the keys might have ended up on the online-auction website is simple: those issued the keys by the city when they are on the job, are not required to return them when leave their jobs or retire.

Some politicians have come out against the keys being sold on eBay, including Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, saying that those keys could wind up in the wrong hands.

“ Having these keys on the open market literally puts lives at risk,” he said in a statement.

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria),chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, has come out against the keys being sold and is drafting legislation making it illegal for a person to own, sell or make copies of the keys. The offense would be punishable by up to a year in jail. The measure has the support of Council Speaker, Christine Quinn.

Public Advocate De Blasio called for an investigation for how the keys wound up on a place like eBay and said the city must make provisions to get the keys back. “ The City must repurchase any remaining keys or block their sale,” he said. “We need a swift investigation into how these keys fell into insecure hands in the first place.”

By Luis Gronda


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