Department of Buildings to keep tabs on inspectors with GPS units
BY BRIAN KATES
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Moments after being sworn in Wednesday, the city's new buildings commissioners vowed to fight department corruption by tracking inspectors with hand-held Global Positioning computers.
Mayor Bloomberg swore in Robert LiMandri the day after crane company owner Michael Sackaris was indicted for paying bribes to top city crane inspector James Delayo for 12 years. In March, after a crane collapse at E. 51st St. claimed nine lives, an inspector in Delayo's unit, James Marquette, was charged with faking a report that he had inspected the crane.
LiMandri, named acting commissioner after Patricia Lancaster was forced out in April amid a growing scandal, said a GPS device would have been able to determine Marquette's location. LiMandri said he would start issuing the computers by year's end.
The 5-pound gizmos will "talk remotely to our system through WiFi, and will pinpoint where the inspector is when he does that job," LiMandri said.
The devices, which record inspection details immediately, will be introduced in phases beginning with electrical inspectors. By 2010, they should be in use by all inspectors, spokeswoman Kate Lindquist said. Bloomberg said LiMandri's most important qualification "is his intense commitment to make safety the No.1 priority."