Construction: Nailing the Mob

Nailing the Mob

Corruption and fraud in the construction industry have plagued New York City for decades. Public projects, especially the $4.3 billion building program for schools, have been marred by crumbling plaster and leaky roofs -- often the work of firms tied to organized crime. Now a state agency seeks to disqualify unscrupulous contractors before they can even bid on city projects. The School Construction Authority, created in 1989, has identified 52 contracting firms linked to crime or shaky financing. "Some agencies review companies with suspicious records, but we demand disclosure of potential bidders," says Thomas D. Thacher, the SCA's inspector general.

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