Outrage grows over faked crane inspection

March 21, 2008 10:10AM

The arrest of a buildings inspector who allegedly faked papers showing
that he inspected the crane that later collapsed on East 51st Street
has stoked the anger of residents and elected officials. After a retired contractor complained that the crane lacked enough bracing, inspector Edward J. Marquette
allegedly falsified documents to show that he did the inspection. On
Saturday, the crane collapsed, killing seven people and damaging
several buildings. “This is beyond outrageous,” said Councilwoman
Jessica Lappin, the neighborhood’s representative. “Somebody called 311
because they saw what they thought was an unsafe situation with the
crane.” The city said the inspection would not have prevented the
collapse, but Lappin said, “We don’t know what this inspector would
have seen. He didn’t come.” A citywide inspection of all construction
cranes has already led to two work stoppages downtown. Inspectors found
upside down pins at the bottom of a crane at a hotel site at 123
Washington Street, while a crane operator at the new Goldman Sachs
tower was not identified on a permit, the Buildings Department said.