updated 4/2/2008 6:38:46 PM ET 2008-04-02T22:38:46

New York's inspector general says a state employee's misconduct resulted in the certification of more than 200 unqualified crane operators.

Inspector General Kristine Hamann says more than 200 people were certified between 1985 and 2000 despite failing the practical exam to be a crane operator.

She says the member of the state Crane Operating Examining Board who provided the bogus certifications has since been removed from his $82,000-a-year job.

On March 18, a huge crane destroyed a four-story brownstone in New York City and killed seven people in one of the city's deadliest construction accidents.

State spokeswoman Kate Gurnett says the city has its own certification process and the state misconduct didn't play into the accident.

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