New Buildings Commish Takes a Hammering at Hearing

With just two days on the job, acting city buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri had a right to be nervous this morning as state legislators grilled him about his agency's many problems.

Even before the state pols got off a question, LiMandri lost his place while reading a prepared statement.

The new buildings commish was in the midst of offering praise for Jim Brennan, the Brooklyn assemblyman who chaired the hearing and who has often been at odds with the agency. "Truly groundbreaking," LiMandri said of a Brennan-sponsored law that lets the agency block architects and engineers who file misleading records with the department.

Then he paused for several seconds. "Please continue," said Brennan.

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"I seem to have lost my place," muttered LiMandri, before quickly recovering. A few minutes later, the hammering began as LiMandri got a taste of official anger over the surge in construction deaths—13 in the first four months of this year compared to 12 in all of last year.

"These are valid and important questions that we need to review," said LiMandri who has launched a new $4 million review of high-rise construction procedures by his department.


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