L&I Commissioner Needs Construction Experience: Parents

Parents push for construction expertise for L&I after daughter dies in fatal building collapse.

Two parents who lost their daughter in this summer's fatal building collapse testified before Philadelphia City Council on Monday.

They made the case for demanding that the head of the Department of Licenses and Inspections comes with construction experience.

Before losing her daughter Ann Bryan in the building collapse, Philadelphia City Treasurer Nancy Winkler said she never thought she would be testifying about demolition regulations.

"But who could ever have expected their 24 year-old child to leave our house one bright sunny June morning and be killed under the rubble of a collapsed store for us it's just three blocks away from our home," Winkler asked during her testimony.

Winkler's husband, John Bryan argues that if the police commissioner is a cop, the Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections needs to be a construction professional who knows the industry he is policing.

Rachel Shapiro testified that L and I did not interfere when an unlicensed contractor did shoddy wiring on her home.

"An L and I inspector did come by due to a neighbor complaint and he saw the rewiring taking place and he knew there wasn't a subcontractor with a license or permit and he let it go," Shapiro said.

Council's Committee of the Whole approved one bill and five resolutions. They're part of an on-going overhaul of demolition regulations since the building collapse.

This story was reported through a news coverage partnership between NBC10.com and NewsWorks.org

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