NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A new report from the Inspector General’s office in New Orleans showcases how serious problems are in the city’s department of safety and permits. Residents told WGNO’s Amy Russo they’re not shocked that inspectors don’t seem to be fulfilling their duties.
“They don’t inspect the buildings like they should,” said Joseph Spadoni. He lived in the Crescent City for 18 years.
The report from the Inspector General’s office also focusing majorly on the Hard Rock Hotel collapse. The hotel partially collapsed in 2019. Three works died and dozens were injured.
The report shows there is no verifable GPS data to confirm inspectors physically attended many of the inspections, inspections that passed. Nearly 50% of the inspections conducted took ten minutes or less.
“People lost their lives, I am upset by it,” said lifelong New Orleans resident Anthony Dibartolo. “I’m not shocked at all [that inspector’s weren’t doing their jobs] given the situation and given the people surrounding all areas and whats going on.”
The report also covers other inspections from 2019 to 2020. It shows city inspectors did not perform in person inspections on 20% of inspections that were reviewed and they did not spend adequate time conducting inspections in 40% of those cases.
“There is not a lot of attention paid to where it needs to be,” said Dibartolo.
The Inspector General’s office recommended the city update safety and permit policies and procedures, as well as complete an inspection checklist and perform quality checks on their staff.
Each recommendation the city agreed and accepted. City officials say the report shows there is room for improvement and they have taken significant steps to tighten rules and regulations governing the inspectors.
Click HERE to read the full report.