50-person bribe case sweeps in NYC inspectors, landlords; charges of payoffs to nix violations

Authorities say 16 city inspectors and dozens of landlords and contractors formed a network of graft that exchanged $450,000 in payoffs to get safety violations dismissed and procure phony eviction orders.

Arraignments were underway Tuesday in the 50-person case. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and city Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters say the case involves 11 building inspectors, five housing inspectors and a raft of disparate schemes.

The city Buildings and Housing Preservation & Development departments note that they flagged the problems. They say several accused workers have resigned or been suspended.

Peters says 150 properties were re-inspected because of the case, and violations were corrected or construction was stopped.

He says no one actually was evicted due to the allegedly bogus orders to vacate.