A city crane inspector has been acquitted on charges relating to the collapse of a giant crane that killed seven people.
But a court did find Edward Marquette, 51, guilty of a series of other charges that he lied about inspecting cranes at sites around the city.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced that, following a bench tiral, Marquette was found guilty of two counts each of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, and Official Misconduct.
In early 2008, the defendant was employed as an inspector in the New York City Department of Buildings Division of Cranes and Derricks.
The court found that Marquette filed false inspection sheets on two dates in January 2008 claiming to have inspected cranes at 111 Fulton Street, 63 West 35th Street, 102 West 57th Street, and 1111 Sixth Avenue, when in fact he did not. The second stating he’d checked ranes at 205 West 76th Street and 80 Riverside Boulevard, was also a lie, the court found.
The defendant was acquitted on charges relating to inspection records for the crane that collapsed at a construction site at 301 East 51st Street in Manhattan on March 15, 2008.
State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber said prosecutors hadn’t proved beyond a reasonable doubt that false papers in that case were filed with the city.
Following the verdit, District Attorney Vance said, “Inspecting cranes is not an area where anyone can afford to cut corners.
“There’s no way of knowing if any of the six cranes the defendant claimed to have inspected were safe because he never actually inspected them. There are lifesaving reasons why the Department of Buildings has protocols and a set of standards in place for crane inspectors. By lying about inspecting cranes, the defendant put the safety of New Yorkers at risk.”
Marquette — who resigned following his arrest — is expected to be sentenced on October 1, 2012