Morning Headlines: Levin to Nutter: “As a ‘Private Citizen,’ I Am Owed a Public Apology.”
Former Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Bennett Levin testified before City Council two weeks ago in a hearing on the Center City building collapse. His testimony was nothing less than blistering. On BigTrial.net, Ralph Cipriano called it “90 minutes of straight talk” about “the incompetence and corruption of local government, and how it was responsible for a series of catastrophes and a trail of dead bodies dating back more than 20 years.”
The Inquirer enumerated his examples:
Levin, the L&I commissioner from 1992 through 1995 in the first half of the Rendell administration, cited the deaths of three city firefighters in the 1991 One Meridian high-rise fire; the 1997 death of a Common Pleas Court judge hit by debris falling from a dilapidated parking garage on South Broad Street; the 2000 collapse of Pier 34 on the Delaware, killing three women at a waterside restaurant; and the deaths of two more firefighters last year in the collapse of a vacant Kensington mill.
Now Levin is asking for an apology from the mayor who issued a sharp statement in response to Levin’s testimony, including the implication that Levin doesn’t understand the department now because it’s been “almost two decades since he was in city government.”
Levin countered with a statement of his own offering his bona fides (“My remarks…were a history lesson tempered with almost 25 years of experience as member of the Board of Building Standards, then its chairman and finally the department’s commissioner”) and with this conclusion: “As a ‘private citizen,’ I am owed a public apology.”
The mayor’s spokesperson says Nutter has no plans to apologize.
So what else is in the news?
• The AP reports that Griffin Campbell, the contractor on the job of the building that collapsed, wants to delay the pending lawsuits against him.
• State Impact reveals that PA Gov. Corbett did not disclose a Hilton Head, South Carolina, vacation home on financial disclosure forms.
• Local real estate agents react to the Berkshire Hathaway acquisition of Prudential, Fox & Roach in the Main Line Times
• The 1700 block of Cecil B. Moore has multiple buildings under construction right now: some with apartments and others with commercial spaces. Naked Philly has the breakdown.