|For Immediate Release|
June 12, 2008
CITY FILES CHARGES AGAINST ARCHITECT
Architect Filed False Documents to Improperly Construct
Two New Buildings
Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri and Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn today announced administrative charges have been filed against licensed architect Robert Scarano, alleging that he made false or misleading statements on applications submitted to the Buildings Department in connection with two new buildings in Brooklyn. The charges are the result of a partnership between the Department of Investigation's Buildings Special Investigation Unit and the Buildings Department's Special Enforcement Team to identify and build cases against repeat offenders who flout building and zoning regulations.
The administrative charges are in connection with documents for two Brooklyn apartment houses that Scarano filed with the Buildings Department in 2000 and 2002. Scarano is alleged to have improperly divided a zoning lot into two smaller lots for the two new buildings, 158 Freeman Street and 1037 Manhattan Avenue, resulting in the construction of two noncompliant buildings. With the two independent zoning lots, 158 Freeman Street could not have been legally built at all as a residential building and 1037 Manhattan Avenue as designed would have been smaller by approximately 2,000 square feet.
"We will not tolerate anyone who knowingly attempts to mislead the Department with false documents. Our Special Enforcement Team is identifying repeat offenders and building cases against them. Flouting building and zoning regulations undermines the quality of life for all New Yorkers, and we will continue to identify and hold accountable individuals who abuse the rules," said Acting Buildings Commissioner LiMandri. "I'd like to extend my thanks to Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn for her full commitment to our partnership to crack down on misconduct in the construction industry."
"DOI will continue to work with the Department of Buildings to root out licensed professionals whose word cannot be relied on to protect the public safety and the integrity of the City's Building Code," said DOI Commissioner Gill Hearn.
Scarano has been charged with knowingly or negligently filing false or misleading documents with the Buildings Department and displaying negligence, incompetence or lack of knowledge with regard to building and zoning regulations. The charges were filed under regulations made possible by State Assembly Bill 7746 that authorize the Buildings Commissioner to exclude licensed architects from filing applications for permits if they are found to have knowingly or negligently submitted false documents. With these charges, Scarano faces possible suspension or revocation of his ability to file documents with the Buildings Department. Scarano may respond to the charges and present a defense to an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Tribunals and Hearings.
The Special Enforcement Plan, announced in July 2007, is the result of a collaborative effort by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Housing and Buildings Chair Erik Martin Dilan, City Councilman James Oddo, and the Buildings Department to raise the bar for construction standards citywide. Under the Special Enforcement Plan, eight new multidisciplinary enforcement units, one construction monitoring program and one research group have been created at the Buildings Department to conduct proactive inspections of construction sites, crack down on repeat offenders who repeatedly skirt building and zoning regulations, and strengthen oversight of the professional certification program. Since the Plan's inception, these new units have inspected over 4,700 construction sites, identified approximately 85 individuals or companies for possible disciplinary action, and reviewed over 2,300 professionally-certified plans for compliance with the Building Code and Zoning Resolution. Since July 2007, these teams have issued over 1,200 Stop Work Orders and nearly 4,000 violations to sites in all five boroughs.
Contact: Kate Lindquist/Carly Sullivan (212) 566-3473
Diane Struzzi (DOI) (212) 825-5931