NEW YORK — A Canadian steel company executive convicted of defrauding a program to help minorities and women in the reconstruction of the World Trade Center has been exonerated by the trial judge.

Federal Judge Loretta Preska on Thursday exonerated Larry Davis, of Mississauga (mih-sih-SAW’-guh), Ontario.

Davis was convicted by a jury last year on wire fraud and conspiracy charges. His lawyer had portrayed him as being among heroes who rebuilt the trade center’s skyscrapers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the trade center site. The judge says in a written ruling the Port Authority got what it paid for when it hired DCM Erectors Inc. with contracts worth nearly $1 billion.

Prosecutors say they’re reviewing the opinion and evaluating their options.