Beloved Florida Toll Collector Fired For Paying Someone’s Toll

© NBC-2 Sam Samsonov at work at his tollbooth NBC-2
© NBC-2 Sam Samsonov at work at his tollbooth NBC-2

A Florida community is rallying around a local toll collector, saying that he was fired unjustly for paying someone else’s toll.  

Vladislav “Sam” Samsonov had been collecting the toll at the Gasparilla Island Bridge, which takes motorists into Boca Grande, near Fort Myers, for nearly 30 years.

He’s known to have treats on hand for dogs, and lollipops for the kids.

“After 29 years, you can’t help it. I gave children suckers 20 years ago,” the veteran told NBC-2 “Now I’m giving those children suckers for their children.”

But it all came to end when he was fired last week after accidentally undercharging a driver and paying the difference out of his own pocket.

“He broke the rules by putting $5.50 into the cash register from his pocket after he realized he missed a trailer being pulled by a vehicle and wanted his register to balance with the axel counts and was caught on tape putting money from his pocket into the register,” his daughter, Patricia Samsonov Gillis, wrote on Facebook.

Since the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority told the NBC station it does not comment on personnel matters, it’s not clear if that’s the true reason he was let go.

What is clear is that the firing has upset many in the community, who have launched a Facebook page to show their support for the toll taker and posted messages for Samsonov on their own pages as well as those of the local media.

It’s not everyday that people like a toll collector so much they have their own photos of him to share, but that has been the case with Samsonov.

Click here to read more

Source: The Huffington Post | Ed Mazza

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