Engineer Vasilios Kourkoumelis busted for lying about inspecting balcony that collapsed in fire
BY Erin Einhorn
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
City investigators busted a Queens engineer Monday for lying about inspecting a balcony that collapsed in a blaze and injured a firefighter.
Vasilios Kourkoumelis, 34, of Astoria, was charged with signing off on the balcony of a building on Kings Highway in Brooklyn - although he never inspected it and it did not comply with city codes.
Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said that potentially puts the public at risk.
Kourkoumelis, a licensed engineer, was brought in to certify the balcony was up to code after city officials cited the owner for building balconies them without a permit.
The balcony collapsed in a Dec. 30, 2008, fire that injured firefighter Andrew Shierer, the son of Richard Shierer, who led the Office of Emergency Management under Mayor Giuliani.
News accounts said Shierer fell 30 feet and injured his shoulder, but managed to survive by staying on top of the rubble.
Shierer could not be reached for comment.
Alan Gardner, a lawyer for Kourkoumelis, said there's "more to this case than meets the eye." He did not elaborate.