The Real Deal New York

Building inspectors, contractors to be charged in bribery crackdown

Year-long investigation revealed city employees accepted kickbacks to expedite projects
February 10, 2015 12:30PM

In one of the biggest corruption sweeps in years, the city announced today that up to 50 building inspectors and contractors will be charged with bribery for engaging in a culture of “pay-to-play” whereby inspectors would expedite projects and issue certificates of occupancy in exchange for cash.

A year-long probe by the city Department of Investigation and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s rackets division uncovered the allegedly illegal conduct, the New York Daily News reported. The charges were announced today by DOI Commissioner Mark Peters and Vance, who said the scheme has been playing out for years.

Construction work has significantly increased in the past few years, with a 14 percent jump in job filings in fiscal 2014 and a 35 percent increase in new building permits. Complaints to the building department also increased 20 percent from 58,900 to 70,000. [NYDN] — Tess Hofmann