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Inspectors

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NEWS
April 3, 1991 | By Robin Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Fire Commissioner Roger Ulshafer asserted last week that the city Department of Licenses and Inspections was too corrupt to be trusted with high-rise fire-safety inspections, he had history on his side. Since its inception in 1951, L&I has had an almost uninterrupted record of bribery, exortion, favoritism and petty graft. Philadelphia's first L&I commissioner, Walter Pytko, warned in February 1952 that "any inspector who takes a bribe or accepts money not only will be dismissed but also will be prosecuted.
NEWS
January 31, 2003 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Two more former Philadelphia plumbing inspectors were sentenced to federal prison terms yesterday on their convictions for taking cash from plumbers whose work they approved. One of the two, Fred Tursi, 59, of South Philadelphia, got a slightly longer prison term than the 30 months imposed on his former colleagues, U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker said, because he "actively solicited money" rather than passively accepting it from plumbers. Tursi was sentenced to a 34-month, no-parole prison term by the judge, who also imposed a $6,000 fine.
NEWS
March 3, 1988 | By PAUL MARYNIAK, Daily News Staff Writer
Philadelphia is unable to institute new federal restaurant inspection guidelines because its inspection unit remains chronically understaffed. The new Food & Drug Administration guidelines were adopted because of sharp increases in food-poisoning cases in Philadelphia and other Northeastern cities since 1985. The FDA now recommends that inspectors conduct "hazard analyses" of restaurants to determine how meals are prepared and cooked, in addition to checking an establishment's cleanliness.
NEWS
April 12, 1986 | By KITTY CAPARELLA, Daily News Staff Writer (Daily News staff writer Joe O'Dowd contributed to this report.)
Two inspectors from the city Department of Licenses and Inspections were turned away yesterday from a MOVE house at 1630 S. 56th St. when they tried to inspect the interior of the two-story Southwest Philadelphia property. Managing Director James S. White characterized the exchange between the female occupants of the house and L&I officials as a "cordial discussion" about L&I procedures for inspection of a property. "There was no confrontation or incident," said White. The women told L&I they would permit an inspection of the interior of the house by appointment at a later date, White said.
NEWS
June 23, 1992 | by Paul Maryniak, Daily News Staff Writer
If you could see what they had - or rather, didn't have - to work with, you'd know one reason why city inspectors descended on the Hunting Park business district yesterday: the city needs the money. The district is the first of five to be subjected to a store-by-store joint visit by inspectors from the city departments of Licenses and Inspections, Revenue and Health. They are checking for up-to-date licenses and city tax accounts, proper zoning and code compliance. L&I officials believe hundreds of businesses have code violations or owe back taxes and license fees, and enforcement in recent years has been lax. On yesterday's raid, while one fire-code violation was noted and referred to a different L&I unit for later action, the inspectors' primary focus was collecting money for the city.
BUSINESS
March 19, 1997 | By Nathan Gorenstein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Philadelphia building inspectors have declared the fire-ravaged One Meridian Plaza tower "imminently dangerous" and have ordered that the 38-story building be torn down or fixed. But the building's owner says "there is no basis" for the city's complaints. "We are going to appeal them," said Joseph P. Dougher, an attorney representing E/R Associates, which owns the tower. One Meridian was severely damaged in a February 1991 fire that started in oily rags left by workers renovating an office.
NEWS
January 24, 1989 | By Leslie Scism, Daily News Staff Writer
On tours of the city's Youth Study Center in the last two years, state inspectors have found one youth sleeping on furniture pulled together and covered with a sheet, and others sleeping on mattresses on floors. One female certified as an adult offender was housed with juveniles. Some female juveniles were wearing men's clothing, and dead roaches were found in ice cream. The problems are among those reported by welfare inspectors in the last two years, according to a Daily News review of state records.
NEWS
August 1, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. Sen. Robert Casey (D., Pa.) on Thursday asked the Obama administration to hire more railroad bridge inspectors because of growing concerns about the transport of crude oil by freight trains. Railroad companies are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their bridges, with oversight by the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The FRA has one bridge inspector for Pennsylvania's 919 rail bridges, including 261 in the five-county Philadelphia region.
NEWS
July 13, 1991 | By Tom Webb, Inquirer Washington Bureau
America's chicken inspectors may be sleeping a little more soundly tonight, and they can thank the Senate. The crime bill passed by the Senate on Thursday night would reinstate the federal death penalty for certain violent crimes: assassinating the president, hijacking an airliner - and murdering a government poultry inspector. The government's horse inspectors will be protected, too. Murdering one of them also would be a capital offense. (Finding one would be an achievement; there are fewer than two dozen nationwide.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
August 18, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
Federal authorities Monday charged a former property inspector with the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections with extorting a bribe from a contractor. Prosecutors say John Wright, who left the department last year, "obtained or attempted to obtain" cash in July 2015 from a building contractor unnamed in court filings who was working on a property on the 5500 block of Whitaker Avenue in Crescentville. He is charged with one count of attempted extortion in a thin-on-details criminal information, a charging document typically used when a defendant has already agreed to plead guilty.
NEWS
July 7, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis, HARRISBURG BUREAU
HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf on Tuesday appointed Bruce Beemer, a top deputy to embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, as the state's next inspector general. In his new job, Beemer, a longtime prosecutor and Kane's estranged first deputy, will replace Grayling Williams, another onetime Kane aide who is leaving the Wolf administration for a law enforcement job outside Pennsylvania. "Bruce Beemer has earned a reputation across the commonwealth as a tough prosecutor, effective administrator and thoughtful legal mind," Wolf said in a statement.
NEWS
May 16, 2016 | By Allison Steele, Staff Writer
Camden officials are hoping to double the size of the city's Department of Code Enforcement through a partnership with Camden County that would target deadbeat landlords, unsafe buildings, and other quality-of-life issues. The proposed shared-services agreement, which must be approved by City Council, would provide up-front funding from the county for an estimated 10 to 12 part-time building inspectors who would work only in Camden, as well as for training, vehicles, and technology such as handheld tablets, allowing inspectors to file electronic reports.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Staff Writer
To call Christian Petzold a political filmmaker would do injustice to the beauty and emotional power of his work. The German director's films are informed by political passions and ideas, but they are expressed through deeply personal stories - from the 2000 breakout feature The State I Am, from the daily struggle of a pair of former terrorists who live in hiding with their teenage daughter, to 2012's Barbara , which features a stunning performance...
NEWS
April 3, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
A Philadelphia judge on Friday ordered the District Attorney's Office to let lawyers for the owner of the Center City building in the deadly 2013 collapse examine the cellphone and camera of a city building inspector who killed himself days after the tragedy. Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein gave the prosecutor's office 15 days to deliver the cellphone and a camera that belonged to Ronald Wagenhoffer, the Department of Licenses and Inspections inspector assigned to monitor demolition of several buildings in the 2100 block of Market Street.
NEWS
March 31, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
The death of Philadelphia building inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer has become a forgotten chapter in a story already teeming with tragedy: the deadly 2013 collapse that buried a Salvation Army thrift store in Center City. Wagenhoffer was the Department of Licenses and Inspections inspector assigned to the demolition of several buildings in the 2100 block of Market Street. On June 12, 2013 - one week after the collapse that killed six and injured 13 - Wagenhoffer killed himself. Now, the contents of Wagenhoffer's cellphone are the subject of a brewing legal fight between the District Attorney's Office and lawyers for STB Investments Corp., the company of multimillionaire real estate investor Richard Basciano that owned the properties being razed.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
Maybe high on the roof, so close to the sky, roofers such as James McCullagh feel invincible, towering over the world, towering over their fate. McCullagh, 60, said as much in federal court Tuesday, before he was sentenced to prison in connection with a roofing accident that killed his good friend Mark T. Smith, 52, on June 21, 2013. "It is a dangerous trade," McCullagh told U.S. District Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro in a courtroom filled with about 50 spectators, the majority of them McCullagh's friends and many cousins.
NEWS
March 17, 2016 | By Sam Wood, STAFF WRITER
Shoppers once chose supermarkets for convenience, cost, customer service and quick checkouts. But a recent study found 83 percent of consumers pick only retail outlets that look clean to them, according to supermarket guru Phil Lempert . A full third of the people he surveyed have turned around and fled stores that seemed less than pristine. So just how clean is your favorite supermarket chain? The Inquirer, as part of its Clean Plates project , examined two years of health department reports for large grocers in Philadelphia and Bucks County.
NEWS
March 12, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, Staff Writer
A national investigation into claims that Veterans Affairs employees doctored records to hide backlogs in treatment for veterans found no such wrongdoing at its Philadelphia and Horsham facilities, VA officials said Thursday. The agency's Office of Inspector General said it examined complaints about scheduling problems at its West Philadelphia hospital, and noted the "archaic" computer system there. But it did not find any willful manipulation of data. In reviewing more than four years' worth of data from the Horsham clinic, inspectors found it never had more than six patients waiting for care at a time, and said "very few" had to wait more than 14 days for an appointment.
NEWS
February 19, 2016 | By Alfred Lubrano, Staff Writer
The Frankford building through which a six-alarm fire roared Saturday had been cited for numerous violations through the years, including fire-code issues and one citation for accumulated combustible waste, city records show. No cause has been determined for the fire, which displaced 21 people who live near the one- and two-story brick building, an L-shaped structure that fronts on both 4619 Griscom St. and 1535 Orthodox St. Executive Fire Chief Clifford Gilliam said Wednesday that officials were still investigating.
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