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FBI raids NYC fire department, chiefs' homes in corruption investigation: Report
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

FBI raids NYC fire department, chiefs' homes in corruption investigation: Report

On Thursday morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the headquarters of the New York City Fire Department and the homes of two chiefs as part of a corruption investigation, the New York Post reported.

The FDNY's Brooklyn headquarters and the homes of senior fire chiefs Brian Cordasco and Anthony Saccavino were searched by FBI officials and city investigators, the New York Times first reported.

Sources told the Post that the raid was connected to allegations that the two top chiefs were paid $100,000 each by recently retired firefighter Henry J. Santiago Jr. to speed up or set up safety inspections.

Assistant Chief Saccavino and Deputy Assistant Chief Cordasco have worked in the fire department's Bureau of Fire Prevention since 2020. The two chiefs were placed on modified assignment, though they have not been charged with any crimes. The investigation is still ongoing.

Federal agents seized their phones and questioned them about the allegations, sources told the Post. Additionally, documents and computers were removed from the FDNY's Department of Investigation office.

According to the Times, the FBI kicked off the investigation after Santiago reportedly told another unnamed fire chief that he had made payments to Cordasco and Saccavino. Santiago then allegedly notified the United States Department of Interior about the payments after being instructed to do so by the unnamed fire chief.

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh also reportedly contacted the DOI in April after hearing about the allegations, a source stated.

Kavanagh promoted the two chiefs last year, at the same time a few other fire chiefs were demoted. Sources stated that the leadership shake-up caused some friction inside the department.

A spokesperson for Kavanagh stated, "Commissioner Kavanagh has proactively placed the employees at the center of this investigation on modified duty, and we are awaiting guidance from DOI regarding further action."

"The FDNY's first priority is always keeping New Yorkers safe, and we expect every member of the department to act appropriately," the spokesperson added.

The DOI confirmed that it was notified about the corruption allegations.

An official who worked with the men told the New York Daily News, "I don't see them as the guys who took the bribes."

"They're the guys who took the inspections. Somebody else tells them that 'Building ABC gets inspected tomorrow,' and they say 'OK' and get the people out there. I don't see them as part of a conspiracy," the official added.

The FBI declined a request for comment from the Post. Cordasco and Saccavino did not respond to the news outlet's calls.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →