Top FDNY chiefs reportedly under investigation for alleged corruption in safety inspection scandal

Fire truck stopped in Manhattan, New York.Fast fire engine in Manhattan, New York City.
The FDNY’s Brooklyn headquarters and the homes of two fire chiefs were raided by the FBI and New York City investigators Thursday morning.

Two high-ranking New York City fire department chiefs are being investigated by the FBI and NYC investigators in connection with a corruption probe, the FDNY has confirmed.

The New York Times first reported Thursday that the FBI and city investigators raided the homes and offices of Anthony Saccavino and Brian Cordasco the morning of Feb. 15 as part of a federal investigation into building inspections.

According to the report, the raids were conducted as part of the investigation into whether the chiefs were paid to fast track safety inspections. Neither of the men have been officially accused of any wrongdoing.

An FDNY spokesperson confirmed to Brooklyn Paper that the department has been cooperating with the investigation, stating that Commissioner Laura Kavanagh was alerted to the allegations last year and “immediately” alerted the city’s Department of Investigation.

“The FDNY’s first priority is always keeping New Yorkers safe, and we expect every member of the department to act appropriately,” the FDNY spokesperson said.

Chief of Fire Prevention Anthony Saccavino and Chief Brian Cordasco, who also works at the Fire Prevention Bureau, have both been placed on modified duty, according to the FDNY.

“We are awaiting guidance from DOI regarding further action,” the spokesperson added.

Saccavino was promoted to the head of the FDNY’s Fire Prevention by Kavanaugh following the demotion of the previous chief, Joseph Jardin, who alleged the move was in response to his complaints over corruption, Gothamist reported.

While still unclear whether Thursday’s raid is connected to the FBI probe into Mayor Eric Adams 2021 mayoral campaign, a spokesperson for the Adams administration told Brooklyn Paper “there is no indication of any direct connection to anyone at City Hall.”

“City Hall became aware of this operation when we were notified by FDNY this morning,” the spokesperson said.

In November, Adams denied the existence of an internal City Hall list aimed at fast-tracking fire system approvals for major developers that is reportedly being eyed by the FBI in its probe of his 2021 campaign.

The so-called “Deputy Mayor of Operations List” was first created by former Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2021 and continued under Adams’ administration when he took office in 2022, according to reports. The list was used to help major developers cut to the front of the line in getting needed approvals for construction projects from the FDNY.

One of those big developers is reportedly the government of Turkey, which asked Adams for help in getting the Fire Department to greenlight a new Turkish consulate building in Midtown Manhattan after he had won the Democratic mayoral nomination but was still Brooklyn Borough President in 2021.

The incident, where the mayor contacted former Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro to look into speeding up approvals for the consulate building, is being investigated as part of a broad probe by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York  into the mayor’s 2021 campaign.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment on Thursday’s raid, while the FBI did not immediately respond to Brooklyn Paper’s queries at the time of publication.