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Engineer Charged With Perjury

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

REPORTER: An engineer charged with perjury has pleaded not guilty for allegedly lying to city investigators studying a building collapse that killed 2 firefighters in 2006.

Jose Vargas was arraigned in State Supreme Court in the Bronx yesterday.

He said there were steel beams in the building when it was constructed, when no steel beams were found.

Vargas' lawyer, Armando Montano, maintains that his client's innocence.

MONTANO: They are actually looking for a scapegoat in terms of the tragedy that took place, and my client and I both sympathize with the tragedy.

REPORTER: The Bronx District Attorney isn't holding Vargas liable for the deaths.

But, Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster says "architects and engineers must be held accountable."

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