It has been four months since the tragic building collapse at 22nd and Market streets, where six people died and 13 more were injured. Several personal injury and wrongful death suits have been initiated in civil court, and demolition equipment operator Sean Benschop is facing a variety of charges, including involuntary manslaughter. And now architect Plato Marinakos finds himself in Philadelphia’s federal court after refusing to provide subpoenaed documents to authorities.
Marinakos served as the expediter in the demolition, hired to navigate the city’s permitting process. In the wake of the building collapse, the Department of Labor’s OSHA investigators subpoenaed eight categories of documents from Marinakos. They requested architectural surveys, blueprints, photographs and correspondence, among other documents. According to a petition filed in Federal Court this week by the Department of Labor, Marinakos’ attorney indicated that while the architect would be willing to produce some of the documents, he “would refuse to produce some… based on the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.”
The petition goes on to explain that United States secretary of labor Thomas Perez disagrees with Marinakos’ assertion of a Fifth Amendment privilege, arguing that the documents in question are business records belonging to two limited liability corporations registered in Pennsylvania and that Marinakos is the custodian of said records. As a result, claims the government, Marinakos doesn’t have the right to invoke the Fifth Amendment in this case.
The department of Labor has asked the judge to order Marinakos to comply in full with the subpoena. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next week. Marinakos’ attorney was not immediately available for comment.