Charges Expected In Deutsche Bank Fire

7 Online - December 22, 2008

by Jamie Roth

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Charges are expected to be announced Monday in the deadly fire at the former Deutsche Bank Building.

Two firefighters were killed in that fire in August 2007.

Now, 16 months later, published reports say the Manhattan district attorney is set to announce manslaughter charges.

DA Robert Morgenthau is going after three construction supervisors and a subcontractor. Morgenthau is not going to charge New York City, even though his investigation uncovered an astonishing pattern of neglect with fire and safety inspections left undone.

Prosecutors say it was just too difficult to bring charges against the city. Morgenthau has also decided against criminal charges for Bovis Lend Lease, the construction management company responsible for demolition and asbestos removal at the 41-story tower.

Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino died inside the partially demolished building.

Their families are said to be unhappy with Morgenthau's decision to leave the city and Bovis out of his case.

Beddia's family reportedly will accept a $5 million payment from Bovis. But the family of Graffagnino has rejected a similar offer.

A grand jury is still hearing evidence about possible fraud linked to the demolition project.

The families of the two firefighters are said to be moving ahead with civil lawsuits. They say they want more information about what happened, and they hope to ensure that it can't happen again to other firefighters.