Tuesday, November 3, 2009

DOB bribery business-as-usual under Bloomberg

From the NY Times:

Mayors have been grappling with inefficiency and corruption within the city’s Buildings Department for decades. John V. Lindsay’s buildings commissioner so tired of allegations of graft that he suggested the agency give its inspectors uniforms without pockets.

But Michael R. Bloomberg took office with a reputation for managerial ingenuity and earned accolades for crime reductions and improvements in student test scores. He brought a flair for technological, data-driven solutions honed in the business world and an outsider’s energy to refashion tired practices.

“Reducing corruption is one of this administration’s primary objectives,” he declared in a news release about the Buildings Department early in his first term.

Over the past seven years, however, the agency has largely been a blemish on the mayor’s record, a bureaucracy that found it difficult to effectively oversee a construction industry that operated at full throttle during the building boom while construction spending doubled.

“When you pay people who have the responsibility as inspectors so little, they’re prone to having their hand out,” said Daniel J. Castleman, a former chief assistant in the Manhattan district attorney’s office who is now a managing director at FTI Consulting, an investigations firm. “That’s not endemic to one mayor or a dozen mayors, that’s just the way it is. There’s so much money to be made in construction and development that people are going to offer you things and people who are paid less are going to think, ‘Who’s this going to hurt?’ ”

The point was driven home just six months into Mr. Bloomberg’s first term, when 19 of the city’s 24 plumbing inspectors were arrested on federal bribery charges.

Since then the Buildings Department has been cited for regulatory oversights in connection with demolition work at the former Deutsche Bank building, where two firefighters lost their lives in a blaze that prosecutors tied to inspection lapses by the agency. Two tower cranes have fallen, killing nine people, and in the aftermath prosecutors ended up charging two of the agency’s crane inspectors.

More recently, the agency has had to change the way it oversees the concrete industry after two testing companies were indicted on charges involving their work.


Anonymous said...

They don't need pockets. The gifts to the DOB crooks who worked with my corrupt landlord include 42 inch televisions.

To stop this, they would need to walk or take public transportation on their rounds and then have someone from the IG's office sit outside with binoculars watching for unexplainable deliveries of luxury goods. They would have to watch the mail as well and even study vehicle registrations.

It would be a 24/7 job.

Taxpayer said...

The Feds are prosecuting former NY State Senate Majority leader Joe Bruno on his alleged violation of the federal "Honest Services" law.

The essence of this law is that all citizens have the inherent right to "honest service" from elected officials.

To dispute this law, one must prove that citizens have NO right to honest service from elected officials.

The Commissar is the manager of the DOB. To say otherwise is to say that he has no power over the agency.

Have we received honest service from the manager of DOB? Of course not.

To say we have, is to say that negligence, corruption, and incompetence are designed into the agency, and we citizens deserve nothing more for our tax dollars.

Even after we dump the Commissar for political reasons, we must follow through by demanding that he be fully prosecuted for violating the federal Honest Services law.

Then we must see that he is jailed.

But, first, dump the Commissar.

Today's the day.

Do it!

He would never hesitate to screw you. He never has.

Dump him today.

Anonymous said...

Concrete testing using independent testers should not be difficult to establish controls to avoid rigged tests.

The building inspecting processing could also be changed to avoid the ability to be corrupt. Sure it will involve additional layers of oversight which will slow down the process of approvals - so what - a developer will simply have to wait as part of a development process. An individual homeowner should not be subject to the same approval tests actually the single family owner should be given preference and a speedy approval process if it does not involve structual, gas,electrical or plumbing issues. However CO's should be heavily scrutinized when they are change significantly from single family to mutiple family dewelling.

Anonymous said...

"However CO's should be heavily scrutinized when they are change significantly from single family to mutiple family dewelling.

Do you mean like these CO's for 40-22 College Point Boulevard (the new Sky View Parc Condominiums..."on Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, NY"


Anonymous said...

The Department of Buildings still hasn't corrected the Certificates of Occupancy for that address? Those "official" addresses are not even close to the site! What gives?
I guess this incompetence will carry over into a 3rd Bloomturd term...or as I would like to call it, a turd term.