NY Governor Sends Message of 'Zero Tolerance' to Crane Inspectors

New York Governor David A. Paterson last week signed legislation (S.7602A Lanza/A.10530A Bing) that criminalizes falsification of records relating to building construction. Specifically, the legislation strengthens criminal and civil penalties for individuals who compromise the integrity of the crane inspection and licensing process. The law makes certain violations class-D felonies and imposes fines of up to $5,000.

"Recent construction crane-related accidents in the New York City area have raised understandable concerns about the safety of building sites," Paterson said. "With stricter criminal and civil penalties, this new law will send a message that we have zero tolerance for any actions that negatively interfere with the inspection and licensing of construction cranes."

The legislation's author, Assemblymember Jonathan L. Bing, D-Manhattan, noting that two cranes have fallen on the Upper East Side within a three month period, said, "It is disheartening that each collapse has been followed by the arrest of a Department of Buildings employee for a fraud such as falsifying records or bribery. That's why we must put laws on the books that will protect us from events like this occurring again."

Bing's legislation establishes the crime of impairing the integrity of a government licensing examination. Bing said this ensures that no crane inspector receives a license unless they have demonstrated they have the knowledge and expertise to satisfactorily perform the job. The legislation also provides means to revoke a crane inspector's license due to various offenses including: filing an inspection report for a crane they have not inspected, falsifying an inspection report, or accepting a bribe.

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