The New York Attorney General’s office filed felony charges against three individuals involved in completing the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.
On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office indicted James Luckie, a former electrical manager at Cushman & Wakefield; Paul Angerame and Michael Garrison, both former managers at Hatzel & Buehler, an electrical contractor.
Allegations against the defendants
The New York Attorney General’s office accused the defendants of engaging in a “pay-to-play bribery scheme in connection with their duties at the World Trade Center.
The Port Authority is the owner and operator of the World Trade Center. The bistate agency contracted Cushman and Wakefield to provide management, operations, repairs, and maintenance services, including electrical work for shared and common areas at the World Trade Center.
Luckie managed the electrical work at the World Trade Center on behalf of the Port Authority including the electricians and supervisors of Hatzel & Buehler.
According to the New York Attorney General’s office, Luckie allegedly received lavish gifts including sports tickets, golf outings and others from Angerame and Garrison. In exchange, Luckie provided them preferential treatment at the World Trade Center.
Luckie allegedly helped Angerame and Garrison by giving them confidential information about Request for Proposals, future electrical work, and budgeting for proposed new work at the World Trade Center.
Additionally, the New York Attorney General’s office accused the defendants of causing the hiring of unqualified electricians. Thus, endangering public safety and wasting Port Authority funds.
New York Attorney General is committed to stopping corruption
In a statement, Attorney General James said, “These individuals were trusted with rebuilding the site of the worst terror attack in American history, but instead, allegedly squandered public funds to line their own pockets. Not only did they trade lavish gifts for confidential information and preferential work, but they put lives at risk by hiring unqualified workers to carry out serious electrical work at the site. Let this serve as a loud and clear message: we will crack down on corruption of any kind and will work to ensure public integrity and accountability throughout New York.”
The Port Authority Office of the Inspector General discovered the defendant’s wrongdoings after investigating a safety complaint about unqualified electricians working at the World Trade Center.
“I would like to thank the New York State Attorney General for accepting our referral of this matter and their joint effort in investigating and prosecuting the three indicted individuals. The Port Authority IG commenced this investigation based upon allegations of safety violations at the World Trade Center site, and through investigation, developed evidence of criminal activity,” said Port Authority Inspector General Michael Nestor.