A toxin-cleanup director and a company were acquitted Wednesday of manslaughter in an August 2007 blaze that killed two firefighters at a condemned tower at ground zero, although the firm was convicted of a misdemeanor.
The John Galt Corp. was found guilty of second-degree reckless endangerment, the only conviction in the criminal case filed over the fire at the former Deutsche Bank building. The judge acquitted worker Mitchel Alvo of all charges. Jurors had acquitted two other construction-company supervisors of all charges last week.
"I'm really mystified," said Galt attorney David Wikstrom. He said he couldn't understand how the company could be convicted of a crime when the workers were acquitted. He said he would move to overturn the verdict.
Alvo's fiancee wept tears of joy as they left the courthouse. "Now I've just got to get on with my life and start making a living again," Alvo said.
The district attorney's office said it was preparing a statement.
The fire killed firefighters Robert Beddia and Joseph P. Graffagnino and revealed poor regulation of the damaged building, which was being dismantled in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Alvo, 59; asbestos cleanup foreman Salvatore DePaola, 56; and site safety manager Jeffrey Melofchik, 49, were the only people criminally charged in the fire. Galt, which employed Alvo and DePaola, was the only company charged.