Industry News: Webcast, Bribes, Lawsuits

Feb 16, 2021

Webcast Explores Racism in Construction

TOPIC: How 2020 Transformed the Conversation Around Hate and Racism in Construction
DAY: Tuesday, March 2
TIME: 2:30 Eastern Time
SPONSORED BY: Rhodes Group

Industry leaders speak about the transformation they experienced over the course of 2020 in regard to hate, bias, racism, equity in construction, and how it has changed the manner by which owners, contractors, and labor are responding to the challenge. 2021 is ushering in a new approach to bias and equity in the construction industry.

Peter Davoren – president and CEO, Turner Construction Company
Darin Daskarolis – senior director, Global Construction – Data Centers, Facebook
Lonnie Stephenson – international president, IBEW
Rodney Pope – senior vice president, Employee Relations, Turner Construction Company

MODERATOR: Steven Charney, chairman, Peckar & Abramson

Click Here to Register.

See here for more information.

NYC Building Inspector Alleged to Receive Bribes

New York officials recently charged a Department of Buildings (DOB) inspector with solicitation and receipt of a bribe. Seth D. DuCharme, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, brought the charges last week. According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, a DOB inspector re-inspected a construction site in Flushing, New York, after a stop work order was issued for safety violations earlier in the month. 

After learning that construction had continued during the pendency of the stop work order, the inspector allegedly solicited a $1,200 cash bribe from an employee of the construction company in exchange for the defendant’s agreement to ensure that DOB would not issue a $25,000 fine to the company. According to the U.S. Department of Justice statement: In August 2020, an employee of the construction company met the inspector at a bakery and provided him with the $1,200 bribe payment. The meeting was recorded under the supervision of federal law enforcement agents.

“This Office will vigorously prosecute those who would betray their public trust for personal gain,” said DuCharme. The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

Cuomo Bridge Entangled in New Lawsuit

NEW YORK – According to a report in ENRNewYork, the consortium that constructed the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge across the Hudson River in New York has filed a new lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars it says it is owed for the project. “In the suit, filed Feb. 8 in the New York State Court of Claims, the team says it is owed more than $923 million in unapproved and disputed changes and delays by the New York State Thruway Authority, and another $30.1 million for changes that were approved,” writes reporter Richard Korman. “The outcome could determine the way future contractors weigh their risks in doing design-build in New York State.”

NIBS Talks Construction Industry Digital Transformation

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Institute of Building Sciences recently met with an exclusive list of leaders from public and private organizations to discuss the need for a coordinated program to advance collaboration and innovation in the building industry.

“Let’s start working on our common challenges and opportunities,” said Lakisha A. Woods, CAE, President and CEO of NIBS. “We seek your time and your talent to help us develop shared standards and processes to improve the built environment and help Build Back Better.”

Phillip Bernstein, associate dean and professor adjunct with Yale Architecture, said there has been varied levels of adoption across delivery and management processes as well as education and training. The U.S. faces continued challenges with data interoperability.

The Building Information Management (BIM) Executive Roundtable included partners from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. General Services Administration and U.S. Federal Highway Administration, along with private sector partners from Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Autodesk, Bentley, Epic, ESRI, HDR, Kieran-Timberlake and WSP.

NIBS is leading the creation of a National BIM Program. The goal is a solution at a national scale to enable digital process standards that will streamline business, accelerate the effectiveness of the supply chain, provide predictable processes, improve project outcomes, drive efficiency and foster innovation.