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Not-guilty plea in crane inspection

National Briefing / NEW YORK

July 04, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A former city building department inspector pleaded not guilty to lying about examining a huge construction crane that collapsed days later, killing seven people.

Edward J. Marquette was arraigned in Manhattan, charged with tampering with public records, official misconduct and other counts.

He had been scheduled to inspect the crane, being used to hoist materials at a building site, on March 4. It collapsed 11 days later, but officials said it was unlikely the inspection would have prevented that.

Marquette, 47, could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the top count, tampering with public records.

Six construction workers, including the crane operator, were killed in the accident, along with a tourist visiting for St. Patrick's Day.

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