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NYC crane inspector accused of taking bribes

A senior city buildings official took bribes in exchange for falsely reporting that cranes had been inspected and that crane operators had been certified, but his actions did not appear to be connected to two recent crane collapses that killed nine people, authorities said Friday.

James Delayo, an assistant chief inspector with the Department of Buildings' cranes and derricks division, accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from a crane company, Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said in a statement.

In return, Delayo, 60, signed off on inspections that he did not perform and helped crane operators cheat on licensing exams by providing questions and answers, the city said.

Delayo's actions apparently had no connection to two cranes involved in fatal collapses this year. Both of those cranes were tower cranes, not the mobile cranes at the center of the investigation into Delayo, she said.

City investigators did not identify the company that allegedly bribed Delayo. They said Delayo had been taking the bribes for eight years.

The Department of Investigation said he earns $74,224 and faces suspension.