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."
And acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said:
"I'm outraged by today’s news. Employees who violate our Code of Conduct tarnish the reputation of our many hard-working employees at the Buildings Department. I’d like to thank Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn and her staff for their swift action. There is much work to be done with the Cranes & Derricks Unit, and we are in the midst of a full operational overhaul. Our number one priority is to ensure the Department’s staff conduct their jobs with the utmost integrity as we continue to forge ahead with our reforms.”