Morning Headlines: Advisory Commission Sums Up What’s Wrong with L&I

Photo by Bradley Maule from  June 5, 2013 collapse at 22nd and Market.

Photo by Bradley Maule from June 5, 2013 collapse at 22nd and Market.

Months after the botched demolition that left six people killed in the neighboring Salvation Army store, Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order that created the Special Independent Advisory Commission. The group was tasked with studying the ins and outs of the Department of Licenses and Inspections and presenting recommendations for its improvement. Those findings were finally published last week.

SIAC chairman Glenn Corbett and executive director Peter Vaira spoke with Marty Moss-Cane of WHYY’s Radio Times about the commission’s data yesterday in an interview, which you can listen to here. Below, some snippets:

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Defense For June Building Collapse May Call Nutter Staff As Witnesses

philadelphia-building-collapse01

Fifty prospective witnesses may be called to testify after the defense in the June 2013 building collapse asked Judge Benjamin Lerner to schedule an expedited trial. Mayor Nutter was included on the filed list, which was drawn up by the attorney’s of Sean Benschop and Griffin Campbell, both of who are currently in prison.

Representing Benschop and Campbell, respectively, are Daine A. Grey Jr. and William D. Hobson. Benschop had been the hired excavator operator in the demoliton and Campbell, the contractor.

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Morning Headlines: L&I and Shirt Corner Owner Had Prepared for Possible Collapse

Photo credit: Joe Coufal

Photo credit: Joe Coufal

A 40-foot wall that careened down while JPC Group workers carried out the Shirt Corner’s assigned demolition caused the site’s partial premature collapse on Thursday. At least, this is what Leo Addimando — the property’s owner — said during yesterday’s press conference.

Addimando said that although the fall of the wall wasn’t planned, he was aware of the possibility. L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams added that it was for this reason that “every safety precaution had been taken,” particularly in light of the June building collapse at 22nd and Market.

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Morning Headlines: Strawberry Mansion Building Collapse Leaves One Injured

Philadelphia Building Collapse

Last summer’s building collapse at 22nd and Market.

An operational database of L&I complaints/incidents will be up and running by late 2015 — hopefully. Until then, building complaints and collapse incidents get public notice only in news accounts, like those about the building collapse in Strawberry Mansion on Monday.

The Daily News’ William Bender estimates it’s the fifth collapse in the past month. The building, which was cleaned and sealed by L & I in 2006, had been reported several times by local resident Mary Felder to no avail.

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Morning Headlines: Group Advocating Building Collapse Memorial Pushes Forward

Philadelphia Building Collapse

Last summer’s building collapse at 22nd and Market killed six people.

Less than five months from now will mark the one-year anniversary of the 22nd and Market streets building collapse, and one group has not forgotten. Their idea for an on-site memorial park may take some time to materialize, but for now they’re pushing for an interim memorial prior to the anniversary of the June 5th disaster.

An online petition for a memorial park has garnered 6,000 signatures since September. The petition’s creator, city treasurer Nancy Winkler, is one among a 15-member panel pressing for the memorial. The group consists of family members of the victims, as well as local leaders. Winkler is the mother of Anne Bryan, one of the six victims who perished in the disaster. Mayor Nutter has voiced his support and provided a liaison for the group.
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Building Collapse: Griffin Campbell Charged With Murder

District Attorney Seth Williams says greed was Griffin Campbell’s motive for botching the demolition of Hoagie City, the building that fell on top of the Salvation Army thrift store, killing six people and injuring 13. Campbell has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, reports philly.com. Other potential charges: recklessly endangering another person, causing catastrophe and criminal conspiracy.

A grand jury investigation revealed dangerous shortcuts Campbell took, such as “remov[ing] wooden joists holding up the floors, to increase his potential profit, since the joists can be resold, officials said. That mean taking down the building from the inside out, rather than the top down, and left exterior walls unsupported.”

The grand jury investigation continues.

Contractor charged with third-degree murder in Market Street building collapse