Unsafe Buildings and Criminal Law

October 31st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

When dealing with unsafe buildings, code inspectors shouldn’t forget to consider whether criminal charges might be appropriate.  A builder in Pennsylvania was recently charged with theft, deceptive practices and other related offenses.  Montgomery Media reported that:

“According to articles in a local daily newspaper, the breadth of shoddy workmanship was staggering: The building had exposed electrical wiring, fire escape stairwells built of wood instead of the required steel, stair landings were constructed of particle board, the sprinkler system was inoperable, concrete block walls held together solely by mortar joints, and a garage wall had cracked concrete blocks, and other structural deficiencies were found by inspectors.” http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2010/10/27/springford_reporter_valley_item/news/doc4cc1fe499a784668359492.txt

In criminal cases, the judge can set specific requirements as a condition of probation that may aid the inspector in getting compliance with the code.

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