Fourteen people charged with bribing inspectors to speed up Brooklyn development projects
With new buildings popping up across Brooklyn, some corrupt property owners put a pair of city inspectors on retainer to avoid code violations, the Department of Investigation charged Wednesday.
The two Department of Buildings inspectors were among 14 individuals hit with charges in the latest crackdown on the resilient corruption that’s plagued the building sector in this city for decades.
The two inspectors were paid off by property owners and contractors to overlook code violations such as inoperable exit signs on residential and commercial buildings going up across Brooklyn, DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said.
“Fabricating documents, lying about conducting inspections or about who is doing the work has serious consequences,” said Peters. “For the defendants it’s about expediting the construction timeline. It’s about making an extra buck.”
In all, 10 property owners, developers and contractors were charged in the scheme, along with a private sector asbestos inspector who took fees to fudge inspections and a master plumber who sold the use of his license.
Thirteen of the 14 were arrested in a pre-dawn sweep. All will be prosecuted by Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and were to be presented in court later Wednesday.
The two city inspectors were paid off with cash but also got free kitchen renovations and driveway upgrades to their private homes, the complaints allege.