Crane Inspector Arrested, but Not in Connection with Recent NYC Crane Collapses

Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–James Delayo, acting chief inspector with the Department of Buildings’ cranes and derricks division, was arraigned and released without bail late last week on charges of receiving bribes, tampering with public records, falsifying business records, filing a false instrument and receiving unlawful gratuities.Delayo has been accused of signing off on crane inspections he did not perform and helping crane operators cheat on licensing exams in exchange for thousands of dollars.Although his arrest comes right after the fatal crane accidents of last week, authorities have said that his actions do not seem to be connected to them.Rose Gill Hearn, department of investigation commissioner, said in a statement that Delayo accepted thousands of dollars in bribes over a period of several years from a crane company.The cranes that collapsed this year in New York City were both tower cranes, not the mobile cranes at the center of the Delayo investigation.It is troubling that an official responsible for ensuring that cranes are safe in New York City would be “selling out his own integrity in a way that compromised public safety,” Hearn said.Officials said the city had been investigating the cranes and derricks division for several months, but the arrest stemmed from a tip investigators recently received after the state Inspector General issued a report about the licensing of crane operators by the state Labor Department.New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement that his administration has “zero tolerance for any corruption anywhere in city government,” and said it was particularly deplorable that it occurred in an agency charged with protecting the public.Another Buildings Department inspector, Edward J. Marquette, was arrested in March in connection with the crane collapse in New York City on March 4. He was charged with lying to New York City authorities about inspecting the crane.