20 March 2008

Department of Building Official Is Corrupt, Lies, Gets Arrested

Remember the repeated claims from the Department of Building that the crane that sliced through Turtle Bay last weekend, killing seven people, has been inspected several times before the accident?

Well, late today, the Buildings Department inspector who claimed to have made an inspection on March 4, Edward J. Marquette, was arrested and charged with lying to New York City authorities. Turns out he didn't actually inspect that crane on March 4. Turns out he made entries on a Buildings Department inspector’s route sheet indicating that he did make the inspection. Turns out that he lied to everyone about it over the past week. And turns out he hasn't shaved in a few days.

Marquette, who is only paid $48 grand a year for his very vital work, was arraigned in Criminal Court in Manhattan on one count of falsifying business records in the first degree and one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, "both felonies that can be punished by up to four years in prison," according to City Room.

DOB commish Patricia Lancaster—who's still reporting for work—insisted Marquette's dishonesty and failure to inspect the crane had nothing whatsoever to do with the accident, and banged her desk with her fist, saying she wouldn't stand for such rank corruption. Next we'll hear how Marquette was a renegade inspector and completely out of keeping with the department's other staff members. Perhaps he was a loner, kept to himself.

Meanwhile, Stuart Loeser, the flack who speaks for Mayor Bloomberg, and earlier this week defended Ms. Lancaster and called Council Member Tony Avella call for her resignation "foolishness," told the New York Sun his opinion of the situation had not changed. That the City has side with rich developers and not with its citizens is so transparent at this point. I find it interesting that our billionaire Mayor, whose wealth is supposed to protect him from undue influence by money-mongering outside influence, should still be so beholden to the development and real estate interests.

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