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Thread: County Building Inspectors Sued
12-23-2009, 07:16 AM #1
County Building Inspectors Sued
Here is an article from the Knoxville News Sentinel
A Knoxville attorney who regularly lobbies Knox County Commission on behalf of real estate developers is now suing the county over what he claims was a faked building inspection report.
Arthur F. Knight III and his wife, Wendi H. Knight, have filed a federal lawsuit against Knox County and three codes enforcement employees — supervisors Roy Braden and Randy Lilly and inspector Marjie Nelson. Attorney Ron C. Newcomb is representing the Knights in the lawsuit.
The Knights contend in the lawsuit that Nelson cooked up an inspection report on a house the Knights had constructed on Hard Rock Way, claiming she had inspected the property Dec. 22, 2008, on the eve of the couple's closing on the loan.
'Yet, on (that) date … Mrs. Knight, their four children, Mrs. Knight's parents and a dog owned by the Knights were at the residence,' the lawsuit states. 'At no time did defendant Nelson, anyone from the Knox County Department of Code Administration and Inspection Office, anyone employed by Knox County or anyone else show up to even visit the residence, much less conduct even a cursory inspection.'
Knox County Deputy Law Director Joe Jarret said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and could not comment on the allegations. The law director's office is tasked with representing the county in civil lawsuits.
Arthur Knight is a well-known Knoxville attorney who frequently lobbies county officials on behalf of real estate developers.
According to the lawsuit, the Knights hired S & S Builders, a Knoxville firm, to build the house at issue in the lawsuit. In December 2008, Nelson issued to S & S Builders a certificate of occupancy certifying the house met all county codes.
Although the lawsuit accuses Nelson of 'conspiring' with the builders to issue a certificate without having inspected the house, the firm is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
After the couple closed the loan, they allege in the lawsuit that they learned the house and property had major 'deficiencies' including faulty wiring that left exposed live wires within inches of standing water.
The Knights repeatedly contacted the codes office but allege in the lawsuit Braden and Lilly did not respond to their complaints. The couple ultimately hired other firms to correct the problems they detailed in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit does not list a specific monetary damage sought. The Knights are demanding a jury trial.
Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.
© 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
I'm guessing the inspector just put the wrong date on the form. What's interesting is the electrical is inspected by the State, and not by the County. Of course, the other side is, I do find things on new homes that have already been passed by the inspectors. But as far as them being in the builders pockets, I really doubt that. I know both the Officials well, and they have worked hard to get away from that "good ol boy" stuff.
- Without any guidelines for inspectors, how do you know your home ... - Nashua Telegra
- Critics say NH lags on regulating home inspectors - Foster's Daily Democrat
- Regulate builders,inspectors of houses - Nashua Telegraph (subscription)
- Saving Money With Home Inspectors
- Owners must prepare for injury - Orange County Register
12-23-2009, 07:36 AM #2
Re: County Building Inspectors Sued
Falsified report by a muni inspector - imagine my complete lack of surprise.
False date on the report - only, maybe legit if the inspector claims he/she was actually out there 1 day before or after the stated date. Otherwise its BS, government employees know what date it is.
Overall I'd say the suit sounds like a ploy by the attorney. He deals with developers and the county regularly. It is a reasonable assumption that he should have known better and performed due diligence on his own property transaction. Doesn't sound like he had you as an HI either. Too bad.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"
12-23-2009, 07:51 AM #3
Re: County Building Inspectors SuedFalsified report by a muni inspector - imagine my complete lack of surprise.
I have been involved in several cases where the AHJ's inspector was either incompetent or never even visited the site. But, my favorite story is this: about three years ago I had to replace a water heater. The warranty company sent out a plumber to do the install. My city requires a permit for W/H replacements and the warranty company does not cover that. So the wrench jockey charged me $40 to pull the permit.
I waited about a week to see a green tag appear, to no avail. I called the inspection department and was told that no permit had been applied for or issued, and that they would take care of contacting the Mr. $hit-runs-downhill-and-payday's-Friday themselves because it was a city regulation.
I waited yet another week and still no green tag. I called again. About a week later a green tag appeared on my front door. Funny thing is though that the water heater is located in a locked closet off the driveway.
It so happens that I am on the city Building and Fire Codes Board so I called yet another time and identified myself this time as such. An inspector was at my house within 5 minutes to do the inspection.
And some of the folks on this forum wonder why I have such a strong dislike for municipal inspectors. Go figure.
12-23-2009, 08:42 AM #4
Re: County Building Inspectors Sued
"County Building Inspectors Sued "
Merry Christmas Aaron, and you thought there was not a Santa.
' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.
12-23-2009, 12:04 PM #5