DOB corruption probe far from finished

Agency cleanup could benefit developers, DOI commissioner claims
March 19, 2015 03:30PM

Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters has pledged to continue his probe into the alleged bribery scheme that led to last month’s arrest of nearly 50 people, including some top-ranking Manhattan and Brooklyn building inspectors.

In an interview with Crain’s on Wednesday, Peters said he is “by no stretch of the imagination done looking at this.” In recent months, he’s made a number of suggestions to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Building officials on curbing corruption within the agency, he said.

The investigator said that if the DOB were a more efficient operation, there’d be less room for bribery.

“There is a clear and direct link between corrupt behavior and inefficient and ineffective behavior,” he said.

Under the advice of Peters, the DOB hired Reynaldo Cabrera in January to manage risk and compliance within the agency. Its “Inspection Ready” program, which has partially rolled out, will schedule routes and inspections by computer, taking it out of the hands of specific inspectors and supervisors.

“The department is committed to ensuring the utmost integrity and accountability from employees and we will continue to work with DOI as necessary to combat corruption,” a DOB spokesperson told Crain’s.

Last month, a year-long investigation by the Department of Investigation and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. led to bribery charges filed against 49 individuals, which included building inspectors, expediters and contractors. [Crain’s] –Kerry Barger