James Delayo, the former chief crane inspector for New York City, has plead guilty to accepting more than $10,000 in bribes to fake inspections and crane operator licensing test results. Delayo has admitted to accepting bribes between 2002 and 2008 to file paperwork indicating that a Long Island-based crane company had passed inspections that never happened and to say an employee passed a licensing exam never taken. For these and other favors, Delayo received from $200 to $3000 in individual payoffs. An official and employee with the involved Long Island crane company, Nu-Way Crane Service, have plead not guilty to bribery and record tampering. Delayo is currently out on bail until his sentencing on May 4th. His plea deal calls for two to six years in prison.
Delayo was arrested back in 2008 after the second of two serious construction accidents caused by massive cranes collapsing. The accidents caused the wrongful deaths of nine people. Authorities said at the time that Delayo’s case was one in a series of cases against builders and inspectors accused of accepting tainted money. Consistent with that claim, Delayo is not the only person in trouble after the 2008 crane collapses. A crane rigging contractor has been charged with manslaughter for one collapse and a crane owner and former mechanic have been charged with manslaughter for the other collapse. Since the 2008 accidents, New York City building officials have made changes to crane training requirements and exam procedures for some operators. Additionally, some inspections are now performed by a national group.
To see additional coverage of this story, see this Boston Globe article.
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