One of the frequent questionspeople ask me is "How does all of the defective construction that is in ourhome or building get approved by the building inspector?" This question is not as easy to answer as youmight think. First of all, a citybuilding inspector is not intended to be a guarantor that all work is donecorrectly. They are primarily lookingfor health and safety issues. They arenot scrutinizing every aspect of construction. They have to rely on the skill and knowledge of the contractor and thedesign professionals.
However, there are occasionally other, darker, reasons,why defective buildings pass inspection. Some building inspectors are willing to look the other way. I have taken the deposition of a buildinginspector where he admitted that he signed off on over 200 homes while sittingin a Denny's restaurant with the developer superintendent.
Los Angeles building inspector Raoul Germain recentlypleaded guilty to taking bribes involving multiple building sites in the L.A.area. The FBI is reportedly probing theextent of corruption in the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. Germain pled guilty and is cooperating withthe FBI. It looks like we will behearing more reports of corruption regarding L.A. building inspectors in thenear future.