Scofflaw Contractors and Developers Thumb Nose at DOB


As enforcement of building rules has stepped up in recent years, the city has issued hundreds of millions of dollars in fines to developers and contractors; unfortunately, most of it has gone uncollected. Just last year, the Department of Buildings handed out penalties totaling $132.4 million but only received $29 million of it; unpaid fines going back to the year 2000 now total $263 million. What's more, many of the biggest culprits continue to do business with impunity. The Environmental Control Board is responsible for collecting DOB-related fines but can't do anything more than send out letters. "We don't have a sheriff, we don't have a law department," said ECB spokesperson Amy Slifka. "All we do is adjudicate." One particular scofflaw is Marie Grasso, who runs the demolition company MMG (oft-cited in these online pages). The wrecking company owes more than $1.4 million in fines for repeated safety violations but still continues to be able to get permits from the DOB. She received 144 permits in the past year while managing to rack up 92 documented violations. As Assemblyman James Brennan of Brooklyn put it, Grasso "should not be permitted to do business in the city." Seriously.
Deadbeat Contractors, Developers Owe City Millions [NY Daily News]
MMG Owner on DOB's Worst Offender List [NY Daily News]
Photo by Oates for The Daily News

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