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NEW YORK CITY-Following last month’s report by the city’s Department of investigation, buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri on Friday said two Department of Buildings supervisors have been disciplined in connection with the former Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty St., the site of a fatal blaze in August 2007. The DOB’s actions are in addition to disciplinary charges served earlier this year against a DOB employee who has since retired.

According to a DOB release, Thomas Connors, executive director of construction site safety, and Christopher Santulli, acting assistant commissioner of emergency and safety operations, have been issued letters of reprimand for failing to ensure that inspectors assigned to 130 Liberty were properly trained. “As indicated in the report, Connors and Santulli were aware that the inspectors were not adequately trained but failed to follow up to ensure that they received training,” the release states.

In addition, both employees “no longer have any supervisory role” in the ongoing deconstruction operations at 130 Liberty, which was contaminated as well as damaged in the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Connors, who had an initial role in directly overseeing the inspectors, will be required to undergo additional leadership and management training, according to the release.

The DOB release states that Robert Iulo, former executive director of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center Task Force, supervised the DOB inspectors assigned to 130 Liberty and the members of the Buildings Enforcement Safety Team which specializes in the inspections of high-rise construction operations. According to the June 19 DOI report, Iulo failed to ensure that the four inspectors permanently assigned to the Deutsche Bank building site received proper training to perform their duties and to ensure that their inspections were performed “in an adequate manner.” The report also states that Iulo instructed an inspector not to issue a violation and a stop work order when a broken standpipe was identified on the building’s 28th floor, “notwithstanding that the condition was ultimately corrected.”

As a result of the DOI investigation, DOB served Iulo with disciplinary charges on February. Three days later, he retired with the charges pending, according to DOB.

No criminal charges have been filed against any of the DOB inspectors. Last December, Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau brought indictments against subcontractor the John Galt Corp. and two of its employees and an employee of Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc. in connection with the blaze that claimed two firefighters.

LiMandi says in a statement that the DOI report “”highlights a breakdown in supervision and communication. Since the fire, we have implemented changes to improve our inspection procedures and increase accountability. We are continuing to expand our training programs and working with the Fire Department and other agencies to increase safety at all construction sites so such a tragedy can never happen again.”

Additionally, the release notes that since the August ’07 fire, DOB has implemented several changes to improve the inspection process at the 130 Liberty. Among other things, a standard inspection checklist was created so inspections can be performed consistently and completely, and six inspectors are now assigned to the site in order to provide the required six days per week, 24 hours a day coverage, matching the contractors’ work schedule.

The DOB release also cites the implementation of 33 recommendations devised by a working group of city agencies. Key initiatives include a smoking ban at all construction sites, new data-sharing protocols among DOB, FDNY and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection and cross-training programs among firefighters and DOB and DEP inspectors.

DOI’s June report did not assign blame solely to the DOB. “From the time demolition commenced at 130 Liberty St. on March 20, 2007 until the fatal fire on August 18, 2007, not a single inspection was done by FDNY at the site,” according to the report.

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