NEW YORK – Elevator maintenance company Transel said Wednesday it has fired five mechanics involved in the botched repair job that led to the death of an advertising executive in New York City.
Michael Hill, accused by city investigators of bypassing a critical safety system in the elevator that killed 41-year-old Y&R exec Suzanne Hart, was among those dismissed, his lawyer confirmed.
The other workers were not identified.
A city investigation released Tuesday named six Transel employees who were working on the elevators at 285 Madison Ave. on Dec. 14 in the hours before Hart was crushed to death.
Hill, a 28-year elevator industry veteran, installed a "jumper" wire on the control panel of the elevator that killed Hart, city investigators found.
The jumper wire allowed the elevator to rise with its doors open.
As Hart boarded, the elevator cab shot upwards with its doors open, crushing her between the cab and outside wall.
Hill. 46, insists he removed the wire before the tragedy. But city investigators say other evidence contradicts his story.
The city also says Transel allowed the elevators to resume operating without a required Buildings Department inspection.
The Buildings Department has suspended and plans to revoke the private elevator agency director's license of John Fichera, Transel's owner.
"Transel continues to maintain service and install elevators in New York City based on the valid licenses individuals in the company hold," the company said in a statement.