By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
On August 13, a couple of weeks after the state grant came through, investigators heard Lattanzio excitedly telling a fellow buildings consultant about the new program.
"I'm telling you this fuckin' safety shit is just gonna be; I'm putting together a demonstration project that we're gonna do through Colletti," Lattanzio said. He would combine the training program with another plan that called for exempting certain construction jobs that used site-safety managers from supervision by OSHA, the federal watchdog of workplace safety, he said. He could barely contain himself.
"It's a fuckin' home run," he said. "We can make some money on this one," he added.
Lattanzio said he would bill the program $65 an hour for his services. "Which is like $15 an hour more than my normal rate, and we'll whack that out. You take $7 for every hour my guy works, it's 2000 hours . . . a year, it's a year-and-a-half project, it's over 20 grand."
"Okay, fine with me," answered Frank Fortino, head of Metropolis Consulting. Fortino's firm donated $3000 to Ognibene's 1997 campaign. But he said he had no recollection of the phone conversation. He hasn't been charged and has not spoken with Lattanzio since his 1998 arrest. "We do strictly consulting, no site-safety work," he said.
Lattanzio's company, however, held several site-safety contracts, including one at the 48-story Condé Nast Tower in Times Square where a scaffolding collapse caused the death of an 82-year-old woman in 1998. Lattanzio's attorney said at the time that All Safe wasn't responsible for monitoring the scaffolding.