Philadelphia controller at odds with Nutter administration over demolition records


Philadelphia’s City Controller said he may head to court to enforce a subpoena for records from the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections. But a city official has accused him of political posturing.


Controller Alan Butkovitz is seeking records for demolition site inspections conducted the week after a Center City building in the process of being razed collapsed on a Salvation Army thrift store, killing six. He also wants inspection reports for other demolition sites dating back to 2009.

“This is a life and death matter. People already died, people shouldn’t have died,” he said Wednesday. “The whole point of the mayor’s press conference in June was that it’s under control. So, if it’s under control, show us the records.

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“If they don’t have records, if they are shoddy records, if there is something wrong with the qualifications of the people who did the inspections, we need to know that,” Butkovitz said.

City officials are fully cooperating with the controller’s requests, according to Mark McDonald, spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter.

“I think it’s obviously political showboating on the city controllers’ part,” he added.

McDonald says the controller should delegate someone to sit down with Carlton Williams, the commissioner of Licenses and Inspections.

“All Mr. Butkovitz needs to do is have one of his people sit down with Carlton Williams and ask what he wants and we can provide it,” McDonald said.

The Market Street building collapse killed six people and injured 14 others.


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