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CT Man Sentenced for Faked Bridge Inspection

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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A Connecticut man has been sentenced for falsifying an inspection report for a New York bridge.

Akram Ahmad, of Bridgeport, was given a conditional discharge of three years, and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and a $375 surcharge for fraudulent action and intention. The charges he faced included Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, all felonies.

In the state of New York, where Ahmad was convicted, a conditional discharge is a sentence that does not involve jail time or probationary supervision, but does entail certain conditions that the convicted party must adhere to for the duration, as determined by the court.

False Inspection Report

Ahmad’s conviction, which was handed down March 17, stemmed from the falsification of an inspection report on the Gilmantown Road Bridge, in Hamilton County, New York, in December 2013.

By John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Connecticut Department of Transportation ordered reinspections of a number of bridges after the charges against Ahmad were made public, including this bridge in Hartford.

The bridge had been inspected in 2012, and repairs made in 2013 to address concerns raised in that inspection. Ahmad inspected the bridge again in December 2013, and his report noted the same issues with the bridge that had been discussed in the 2012 report.

In early 2014, the New York State Department of Transportation performed an inspection of the bridge and found that repairs had already been completed, revealiing Ahmad’s report to have been fraudulent. Local officials also later noted that it would have been difficult for Ahmad to inspect the bridge when he claims he did, as there would have been snow and ice in the region.

Multiple Engineering Firms

Ahmad was employed by DKI Engineering, a subcontractor for NYSDOT, to conduct inspections. He was also employed by engineering firm VB Tech in Connecticut, and in New York, he worked for American Structural Engineering.

According to the Hartford Courant, Ahmad was also the acting team leader for inspections of 35 different bridges that were seen as significant. When the charges against Ahmad were made public last year, a representative from the Connecticut Department of Transportation said that those bridges would have to undergo resinpection.

Bridges that Connecticut officials chose to reinspect included many on or over I-84 and I-91 in the state, and several in and around the city of Hartford, including bridges that support two streets, and the Hartford Public Library in between them, over Whitehead Highway.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Criminal acts; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Infrastructure; North America

Comment from Robert Pantel, (6/14/2017, 8:04 AM)

What actions were taken re: the engineering firms where this criminal was employed?


Comment from john kern, (6/14/2017, 9:51 AM)

My opinion, maybe a better sentence would be for him to have to pay for the re-inspections. It seems possible the firms did fail to perform audits on his reports, so yes maybe they should be held liable in addition.


Comment from M. Halliwell, (6/14/2017, 11:12 AM)

I don't know how things work in New York, but here, I'm pretty sure it would have been referred to the regulating body for investigation of both the engineer and the engineering firm. Based on what I have seen up here, Ahmad and DKI would have been in a lot more trouble than a conditional discharge.


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