THERE'S NO STOPPING A MAN INTENT ON BREAKING LAWS - JuniperCivic.com
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THERE'S NO STOPPING A MAN INTENT ON BREAKING LAWS

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OPINION

Where's Elizabeth Crowley when she's needed?

Even while campaigning for the City Council job in council district 30, Anthony Como was in the midst of constructing his McMansion on 82nd Place and 64th Road in Middle Village, just one block from his predecessor, the disgraced drunken sexual deviate, Dennis Gallagher.

The site has a long history of 27 complaints, including one on July 7th: WORK CONTRARY TO STOP WORK ORDER. A Stop Work Order (SWO) reflects a serious violation found by the Department of Buildings (DOB), an agency notorious for ignoring even the most dangerous violations ‒ as happened with the falling cranes and the resulting deaths. To continue work in violation of an SWO demonstrates a particularly depraved indifference to human life.

What prompted the most recent Stop Work Order? A neighbor spotted scaffolding erected unsafely. Guardrails were missing and bricks were overloading the scaffold. An inspector from DOB arrived, inspected, and observed the dangerous condition imposed on the workers and passersby. A full Stop Work Order was served stating that "SITE CONDITIONS ENDANGERING WORKERS". DOB, keeping its reputation for carelessness intact, arrived to inspect this complaint on June 30th, four days after it was phoned in.

Twenty-six violations found. One of the earliest, on February 21, 2007, was: "CONSTRUCTION – CONTRARY/BEYOND APPROVED PLANS/PERMITS". A neighbor had complained that: "PERMIT IS FOR ALTERATION AND THEY TOOK DOWN ALL EXISTING WALLS AND RAISED THE FOUNDATION".

A few days later, on March 1st, a complaint was filed, stating that: "WORKING AFTER HOURS AT ABOVE LOCATION", which is illegal. So, the complaint was assigned to the Emergency Response Team; on June 6th the Emergency Response team inspected and found: "NO VIOLATION WARRANTED FOR COMPLAINT AT TIME OF INSPECTION", observing, three months after the complaint, that: "NO AFTER HOURS CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY". To DOB, that's an "emergency" response.

Then we have: "BUILDING VIOLATION ISSUED FOR FAILURE TO OBEY STOP WORK ORDER" on March 10th and earlier, on March 3rd: "WORKING AGAINST STOP WORK ORDER".

Again, on March 30th this year, while readying his campaign for Gallagher's vacated Council seat, a complaint came in to DOB stating that: "AFTER HOUR CONSTRUCTION IS BEING DONE AFTER 6PM", which is illegal. On May 15th, at a few minutes past noon, a DOB inspector arrived to observe the work being done after hours on March 30th. Oddly enough, the inspector found there was: "NO CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY AT TIME OF INSPECTION, NO FURTHER ACTION NECESSARY". It's really difficult to pick the more persistent lawbreaker here, DOB or Como. Both operate on tax money collected from you.

Is there corruption involved? You decide. You demand that Como explain these 27 violations and multiple Stop Work Orders which are themselves routinely violated without penalty. Como wants to keep this seat and will again be on the ballot for the council seat on November 4, 107 days from publication of this column.

What does Elizabeth Crowley, the presumed Democratic opponent of Como for this seat have to say about Como's twenty-six violations and DOB's indifference? Don't both Como and Crowley oppose overdevelopment and violation of building and safety codes? Has Crowley no voice?

Readers can perform their own research on the violation history of Como's property. Use this link to examine the DOB records for his property. Browse the history of this property and then ask yourself why an elected council member has felt free to persist in violation after violation. A good idea would be to also ask Como. Another great idea would be to ask Mayor Bloomberg why DOB, under his direction and control has permitted this repeated failure to obey the law by Como as well as by DOB.

This construction and all the violations started and continued while Como, and attorney, and a former prosecutor in Queens County, was working for State Senator Serph Maltese. Shouldn't it have occurred to Senator Maltese to insist that his employee show some respect for the law?

As taxpayers, you are entitled to have the answers to all your questions regarding violations by Como. If you don't get answers, or you get unsatisfactory answers, you have to decide whether to permit the man to continue in office as a lawmaker.

In the accompanying photos, two workers are pictured on the second floor scaffolding. The other photo shows the Stop Work Order posted on the plywood fence ‒ while work was occurring. The photos were taken on July 7th at 12:21PM. That's pictorial evidence of this lawbreaking, lawmaking attorney violating the law once again. Why did he bother taking the Oath of Office?