City eliminated position held by acquitted former building official

The City has refused to rehire a former building official who lost his job two years ago amid unproven corruption allegations because his former position was eliminated during a recent restructuring, according to a union attorney who is representing the man.

Augustine Fallay headed up a one-stop permit program at the Department of Building Inspection until August 2005 when he was arrested and subsequently charged with bribery, perjury and insurance fraud.

The high-profile case was dropped by prosecutors in June after all 31 charges were either acquitted or deadlocked by a jury. Fallay was fired in December 2005 after he refused to attend a city hearing to respond to accusations that he had accepted gifts and more than $50,000 from people who had projects before The City, according to letters between Fallay’s attorney and The City, that were obtained by The Examiner.

Duane Reno, an attorney for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, had earlier told The City in a letter that Fallay would not attend the hearing because he wanted to exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination until criminal proceedings against him had ended.

Fallay and Reno met with city officials for several hours Wednesday in an attempt to win back Fallay’s old job, Reno said.

According to Reno, senior city official Jeremy Hallisey said during the hearing that Fallay’s old job no longer exists because it was eliminated during an organizational restructure four months ago. The restructuring took place around the same time that Reno filed a Supreme Court petition to try to force The City to reinstate Fallay, Reno said.

“They eliminated a position that Mr. Fallay could have returned to,” Reno said.

Hallisey did not respond to calls for comment Wednesday; department spokesman William Strawn said Hallisey would not be able to publicly discuss a personnel matter.

jupton@examiner.com

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