THE BRONX - A senior city buildings official took bribes in exchange for falsely reporting that cranes had been inspected and that crane operators had been certified, but his actions did not appear to be connected to two recent crane collapses that killed nine people, authorities said Friday.

James Delayo, an assistant chief inspector with the Department of Buildings' cranes and derricks division, accepted thousands of dollars in bribes from a crane company, Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said in a statement.

But Delayo's actions apparently had no connection to two cranes involved in fatal collapses this year. Both of those cranes were tower cranes, not the mobile cranes at the center of the investigation into Delayo, she said.

It is troubling that an official responsible for ensuring cranes are safe in New York City would be "selling out his own integrity in a way that compromised public safety," Hearn said.

Hearn's office did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment, and she did not identify the company that allegedly bribed Delayo.

Delayo, 60, has worked for the Buildings Department since 1982, a career that spans the administrations of four mayors and several buildings commissioners. The Department of Investigation said he earns $74,224 and faces suspension from his job.

There was no phone number listed under Delayo's name in the New York City directory. The Department of Investigation didn't immediately return a call seeking information on whether he had an attorney.

The charges represent another embarrassment for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration as it tries to quell the outrage over the two collapses.

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