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FDNY chiefs accused of taking safety inspection bribes

FBI raided the homes of two chiefs accused of taking bribes to fast-track inspections


Close up on FDNY fire truck.

Rose Abuin/TNS

By Michael Gartland, Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Two FDNY chiefs were put on modified assignment Thursday after they were accused of taking bribes to fast-track safety inspections, the Daily News has learned.

FDNY Chief Anthony Saccavino and Deputy Chief Brian Cordasco were sidelined after the FBI raided their homes, sources said.

Saccavino is head of the FDNY’s fire prevention bureau. Cordasco works under him in Fire Prevention.

The city’s Department of Investigation is investigating if the two men received bribes to fast-track fire inspections for deep-pocketed developers.

Multiple sources had reported hearing rumors of potential bribe received by the two men, a source with direct knowledge of the case said. When the rumors reached FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh’s desk she immediately reached out to the city’s Department of Investigation (DOI), asking them to start an investigation, the FDNY confirmed.

“The FDNY’s first priority is always keeping New Yorkers safe, and we expect every member of the department to act appropriately,” an FDNY spokeswoman said. “Commissioner Kavanagh has proactively placed the employees at the center of this investigation on modified duty, and we are awaiting guidance from DOI regarding further action.”

Neither man has been charged with any crimes as the investigation continues.

Sources say their alleged activities have nothing to do with the Deputy Mayor of Operations list, also known as the DMO list, in which City Hall is accused of identifying developments run by friends of the mayor and were put ahead of all others.

The fire inspection process came under scrutiny in November in the wake of disclosures about the approval of the Turkish consulate in 2021.

Mayor Adams confirmed at the time he asked former Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro to look into the status of building safety violations that were preventing the Turkish government from opening the consulate in Manhattan, though he said the outreach was part of his normal duties as an elected official.

Federal prosecutors declined to comment. Saccavino couldn’t be reached. Repeated calls to Cordesco were not returned.

“City Hall became aware of this operation when we were notified by FDNY this morning,” Mayor spokesman Charles Lutvak said. “The FDNY continues to cooperate with DOI, and there is no indication of any direct connection to anyone at City Hall .”

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