New report finds problems with demolition process in Philadelphia

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 Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland and Mayor Michael Nutter discuss problems found in the operations of the city's department of Licene4se and Inspections. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland and Mayor Michael Nutter discuss problems found in the operations of the city's department of Licene4se and Inspections. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A new report finds no criminal wrongdoing at Philadelphia’s department of Licenses and Inspections when it comes to demolitions —  but there are still problems. 

Mayor Michael Nutter says the city’s Office of Inspector General reviewed accusations of deliberately doctored records on demolitions, and it cleared employees of wrongdoing.

“According to the OIG’s analysis,  L and I properly administered the demolition inspection process in approximately 22 percent of sampled permits,” Nutter said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

That means problems occurred 78 percent of the time — but those irregularities were not the result of malice. Inspector General Amy Kurland said a balky computer system is among the issues that need attention.

“The inspectors were not given clear instructions on how to follow the new rules, for example,” she said. “While the work rules were extremely rigorous, not every facet of the demolition was addressed in those rules.”

The report has been passed on to incoming Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Dave Perri to implement changes necessary to fix the issues.

The report follows investigations into department operations following the 2013 collapse of a building undergoing demolition. The collapse at 22nd and Market streets killed six and injured 13.

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