April 2: Ex-L&I official charged with extortion | CHOP asked to revise campus design | OPA needs new hires | Benjamin Franklin Bridge darkened | Chinatown artwork collapse

Good morning and happy Wednesday Streeters. 

A former Deputy L&I Commissioner Dominic Verdi has been charged with conspiracy, fraud, and extortion. The Inquirer reports that a federal investigation alleges Verdi used his position running the Public Nuisance Task Force to lift violations, as long as owners purchased their beer from Chappy’s Beer, Butts and Bets, a distributor which Verdi co-owned. “Until his resignation in 2011, prosecutors said, Verdi used his L&I post to extort nearly $1 million in beer sales from those seeking help clearing up city regulatory and enforcement problems.”

The Civic Design Review Committee wants to see the new Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia facility on the east side of the Schuylkill have better connections to the river and neighborhood, and be less auto-centric. PlanPhilly’s Kellie Patrick Gates reports that CHOP must come back to CDR with revised plans that address these design concerns.

The Office of Property Assessment is slogging through property assessment appeals, and it’s bound to take another year before the job is done. NewsWorks reports that OPA officials say they need to fill more than three dozen to complete its property reassements and appeal reviews, but are having a hard time finding qualified individuals.   

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge’s lights will go dark until further notice to accommodate track repair work, NewsWorks reports.

A piece of tile artwork fell off of a building at 9th and Race streets in Chinatown early this morning. NBC10 reports that the broken artwork is still sitting on the closed sidewalk, and that there is no structural damage to the building.

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