Man charged for obstructing investigation into fatal construction incident
30 November 2023
A federal grand jury has indicted a New York man, charging him with conspiracy and obstruction of official proceedings relating to an investigation into a fatal construction accident.
The four-count indictment alleges that Richard Zagger, 58, of Blue Point, New York was a supervisor for Northridge Construction Corporation, located in East Patchogue, Long Island, New York.
On 8 December 2018, Zagger was overseeing employees of Northridge constructing a metal shed on the Northridge property. During the construction, one of the employees fell from the improperly secured shed roof and died.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the employee’s death and violations of worker safety standards. Among other worker safety standards, OSHA regulations require maintaining the stability of a metal structure at all times during construction.
The indictment charges that during the investigation, Zagger made false statements and conspired with others to make false statements to obstruct the federal agency’s inquiry.
The maximum penalty for the conspiracy count and each obstruction count is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the economic gain to the defendant or loss suffered by the victim because of the crime.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.