Saturday, June 07, 2008

DoB Senior Official And Crane Companies Found To Be Corrupt

The title may not be so shocking to many New Yorkers, considering all of the accidents that occur in construction. Speed has always concerned the industry more than the safety of the workers, although you would hope that the Department of Buildings would be on their side. Well guess again. James Delayo, a senior inspector making $74,000 a year has been padding his salary with bribes from the crane companies to help them skirt regulations.

From The Gothamist:

The Department of Buildings' acting Chief Inspector for Cranes and Derricks was arrested today. James Delayo was accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes from a crane company and falsifying reports. WNBC reports, "The city's Department of Investigation also says Delayo tampered with licensing exams by providing the answers for crane operator exams to a crane company for a fee."

Delayo's actions allegedly had nothing to do with last week's East 91st Street crane collapse or the March 15 crane collapse at East 51 Street. An official told City Room, "The long and short of it is that between 2002 and 2007 he accepted money — bribes for passing individual test-takers in order to get a crane operating license." Delayo, 60, earns a little over $74,000 annually. Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said:

"DOI's (Department of Investigation) investigation revealed the profoundly disturbing and sobering realization that a senior inspector responsible for ensuring that cranes operating in New York City are in proper condition and are operated by qualified individuals is charged with selling out his own integrity in a way that compromised public safety, leaving it in the hands of the individuals who paid him bribes, and rendered his inspectional job meaningless."

It seems that the entire Department is meaningless. Michael Bloomberg's outrage at this is also meaningless. His legacy for New York is an unprecendented building and development boom that prefers speed over safety without funding the Department of Buildings properly so that inspectors are plentiful, well-paid and looked after by well-trained hawks. Bloomberg can offer his stern warnings now, but where has he been in the last seven years?