The foreman of a New York City construction company was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison last week after a state Supreme Court jury convicted him in the death of an employee, 22-year-old Carols Moncayo.

Sky Materials Corp. foreman Wilmer Cueva was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison for the criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment convictions.

Excavation work was illegal

“Wilmer Cueva knowingly and repeatedly risked his workers’ lives in service of an ambitious construction schedule,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in a press release. “In the face of multiple warnings about the perilous conditions he created at 9-19 Ninth Avenue, Cueva personally directed—and then declined to stop—his illegal excavation work, and Carlos Moncayo, a young man working to support his family, perished needlessly as a result. I hope that the justice obtained for his preventable death will galvanize other construction supervisors to prioritize their workers’ safety ahead of expediency and profit.”

Taking shortcuts

Vance urged construction workers to report unsafe conditions to his office. There have been 12 construction worksite deaths in the past year and 28 in the past two years in New York City. Safety advocates say real estate developers who are eager to build lucrative properties quickly are taking shortcuts and endangering workers.

The cases against two of the other defendants indicted in connection with the incident, Sky Materials Corp. and Alfonso Prestia, are pending.