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CODE BREAKERS: Illegal conversions, unsafe work sites and more March DOB violations

The New York City Department of Buildings released its March 2018 enforcement bulletin, which highlights the agency’s actions to sanction and deter bad actors in the construction industry through the enforcement of safety laws and codes of conduct for construction professionals. It includes summaries of DOB-imposed disciplinary actions, including penalties, and license suspensions and revocations.

The actions in the report represent a portion of DOB’s code enforcement activity along with thousands of inspections conducted and violations issued by the agency each month for illegal building and construction conditions.

DOB took a number of major enforcement actions in March, including:

  • A total of 58 violations and $462,500 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal building alterations on 23 separate occasions.
  • A total of 26 violations and $263,000 in penalties, including daily penalties, issued for illegal transient use of buildings at 8 different locations.
  • 49 violations and $550,030 in penalties issued for failure to safeguard construction sites on 41 separate occasions.
  • 20 violations and $200,000 in penalties issued to 19 different individuals for failure to carry out duties as construction superintendents.

Below are individual enforcement highlights for March 2018:

  • $47,400 in penalties issued to SC Union LLC for the illegal conversion of 42-08 Union Street, Queens, from a three-family home into a sixteen-unit single room occupancy dwelling known as the Flushing Hotel.
  • $49,000 in penalties issued to building owner Shahana Islam for illegally altering the property at 35-47 72nd Street, Queens, from a three-family home to a seven-family home, with illegal SROs in the basement and the attic.
  • $48,700 in penalties issued to Branic International Realty Company, for the illegal transient use of two residential units at 2686 Broadway, Manhattan.
  • $10,000 in penalties issued to Benson Industries LLC for operating two cranes in an unsafe manner, using them beyond their stated lifting capacities to hoist windows at a construction site.
  • $10,000 in penalties issued to Roberto W. Cardas for operating a knuckle boom truck in an unsafe manner, improperly using the truck’s outriggers on a city sidewalk without approval from DOB and without providing proper protections to pedestrians.
  • $25,000 in penalties issued to Shah Group Ent Inc. for a failure to safeguard while installing a sidewalk shed, when a piece of metal fell off the shed and struck a pedestrian below at 182 East 73rd Street, Manhattan.
  • $25,000 in penalties issued to licensed general contractor, King’s Work Inc. for the failure to provide overhead protection surrounding a construction site at 269 55th Street, Brooklyn, leading debris to fall and cause injury to an individual in an area adjacent to the site.
  • A combined total of $700,000 in penalties imposed on S M Enterprises LLC, Barton Mark Perlbinder and Perlbinder Holdings LLC for the continued display of an illegal advertising sign at 247 – 249 East 36th Street, also known as 665 2nd Avenue, over the course of 8 years.
  • The voluntary surrender of Professional Certification and Directive 14 filing privileges of Frederick Goldberg, P.E and Sankar Mandal, P.E, for wrongfully certifying applications of non-code compliant projects submitted to the Department.
  • $12,000 in penalties and a one-year license suspension issued to licensed master plumber and fire suppression contractor, John Lovertro for allowing unlicensed workers to work on permits under his supervision and for failing to test new gas systems before requesting gas restoration at a property.
  • $20,000 in penalties, a two-year license suspension, and a two-year license probation issued to licensed master plumber Peter J. Miceli for making false and misleading statements to the Department, for receiving a high number of ECB violations, for failing to be properly established, and for requesting gas authorization and sign off inspections on a high number of non-code compliant gas projects.
  • $11,000 in penalties and a one-year license probation issued to licensed site safety manager Rodrigo Caro for submitting false and misleading documentation to the Department in support of an Site Safety Manager trainee seeking a DOB license.

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