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Former NYC inspector sentenced for bribery

Associated Press / June 17, 2010

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NEW YORK — The city’s former chief crane inspector apologized at his sentencing yesterday for taking bribes to fake inspection and licensing exam results.

James Delayo was sentenced in Manhattan state Supreme Court to two to six years in prison for taking more than $10,000 in payoffs.

Looking gaunt and often coughing, Delayo commended other inspectors for the difficult and important work they do, saying, “They don’t deserve the bad publicity I brought them.’’

The charges against Delayo, 61, stemmed from a crackdown on corruption in the industry that began after two crane collapses killed nine people in 2008.

Justice Thomas Farber said imposing the sentence was difficult because of Delayo’s work supervising the crane operations at ground zero after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“It is with some degree of sadness I impose this sentence because I recognize Mr. Delayo is a man who is quite ill, partly due to what can be described as heroism,’’ Farber said. But the judge added that the bribe-taking “crime itself was an extraordinary betrayal of public trust.’’

Delayo pleaded guilty earlier this year to receiving bribes for falsifying crane inspections. Nu-Way Crane Service Inc. and company official Michael Sackaris pleaded guilty to bribery. An employee pleaded guilty to a false-filing charge.

The Nu-Way case involved smaller cranes and wasn’t linked to the collapses.

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