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Calls For More Aggressive Buildings Commish

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The city's Buildings Commissioner, Patricia Lancaster has stepped down after more than six years in that post. While Mayor Bloomberg praised her service, her resignation comes after a series of fatalities on construction sites her agency was supposed to supervise. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: However much Lancaster reformed her department, she could not prevent construction workers from dying, at least not in the current building boom. On a single afternoon this March, seven people died when a crane toppled and crushed a full block's worth of buildings.

Last week, Lancaster admitted at a city council hearing that the apartment tower under construction was going to be too tall for the neighborhood's zoning and should not have been granted a building permit. East Side Council Member Jessica Lappin said it's time to find someone who will be more effective.

LAPPIN: At the accident of the crane site alone, we had an agency unresponsive to the community, an illegal building that was approved, an inspector who falsified a report and a tragedy where seven people dies.

REPORTER: The Mayor has not yet named a permanent replacement. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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