From the NY Post:
City officials have thrown a huge monkey wrench into the upcoming criminal and civil trials in the fatal 2008 Upper East Side crane collapse — a newly “discovered” letter that appears to implicate the Buildings Department as having been far more informed about the status of the death-trap crane than they’d let on.
“We found it in an old file cabinet,” city lawyer Michael Tobin told Manhattan Civil Court Justice Paul Feinman yesterday, during a hearing on a wrongful-death suit brought by the victims’ families.
The letter is dated March 2008, just months before the collapse killed two workers as it plummeted 20 stories down onto East 91st Street, according to details revealed at the proceeding.
Federal, state and city investigators have unanimously attributed the crane’s collapse to a cheaply repaired crack in the crane’s “turntable,” a bearing which allows the crane’s cab and boom to pivot.
In the letter, accused killer crane-magnate James Lomma tells his friend and onetime employee, Michael Carbone — the DOB’s then-chief crane inspector — that the turntable has been repaired. Lomma goes on to refer to previous discussions he and Carbone had concerning the repair and concludes the letter by telling Carbone that he should feel free to stop by and check out the repair any time he’d like.
The letter is significant because Carbone and other city officials have insisted in civil depositions that they’d had no such communication from Lomma, and that they had been in the dark about the repair ever getting completed, lawyers for the two slain workers complained in court today.