By Jill Colvin – DNAinfo Reporter/Producer
MANHATTAN — Undercover investigations and online stings are tactics typically used by police and prosecutors, not building inspectors. But there’s a new sheriff in town at the city’s Department of Buildings — and he comes armed with three decades of law enforcement experience.
Eugene Corcoran, a former United States Marshal and 20-year veteran of the New York State Police took office in May as the buildings department’s Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement — a first for the department, which has been plagued by corruption and a string of fraud-linked tragedies, including the Deutsche Bank building fire in 2007 and two deadly crane collapses in 2008.
Since his appointment, Corcoran has been taking the lessons he learned tracking down serial killers and reconstructing plane crashes and using them to crack down on absentee building owners and contractors who don’t play by the rules.