Thursday, December 17, 2009

DOI: Astoria engineer lied about balcony inspection

Engineer Vasilios Kourkoumelis busted for lying about inspecting balcony that collapsed in fire

BY Erin Einhorn

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.


ceiling on my head lady said...

He first learned his fine building practices in Astoria, where he resides with his wife and children under the Triborough bridge which is one of the few structures that he had no input into and which therefore will probably not collapse.

Anonymous said...

He should be criminally prosecuted for knowing endangering the public and trust in the public agency. His direct Mgr should also be prosecuted as well for professional negligence.

Anonymous said...

This is news?
for any tenant who has called the DOB and HPD in Queens we know that they are all on the bag. He is from Queens so he learned it all from the scum at Boro Hall.

one day may a balcony fall on his head!

what if the fireman had died?

That's an immigrant for you, take the money fuck the USA

Anonymous said...


Not defending him, but how on earth do you know he is an immigrant? Because his last name is not smith? He is 34, and an engineer....most likely born and raised in the US. Not too many educated immigrants come here to stay anymore.

Anonymous said...

He's just a worthless, stupid troll. Either that or he's just stupid. In either case, he's not worth the bother

Anonymous said...

Well hell, if it works in Astoria, it should work in the rest of the city.

Astoria: the laboratory for New York City's future.

Anonymous said...

Amazing as always