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New York City building officials charged in bribery cases

They allegedly cleared complaints, expedited inspections and tried to remove tenants for favours

New York

MORE than a dozen New York City buildings inspectors and clerks have been charged with exploiting their positions as gateways to the city's booming real estate industry to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, law enforcement officials announced on Tuesday.

In return for bribes of home mortgage payments, sport utility vehicles and a luxury cruise, among other payments, city buildings inspectors cleared complaints and stop-work orders, expedited inspections and tried to remove tenants under false pretences, according to records filed on Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The corruption charges, in an industry where inspectors are tempted by kickbacks with some regularity,...

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