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Missing inspection reports in Knox

Jul 08, 2017 12:16 am
H. Rose Schneider reports in The Altamont Enterprise that while Knox issued building permits last year, there are no records of building inspection reports. Leif Engstrom, chief auditor for the city of Albany, made a Freedom of Information Law request to the town of Knox about the hours that Dan Sherman works as Knox's building inspector, since he also works full-time as the Senior Building Inspector for the city of Albany. Sherman made $65,166 in overtime on a base salary of $48,486 in 2016, and, as a part-time Knox employee, another $9,522 in salary and no requirement to document his hours. So Engstrom submitted a FOIL request to Knox for the time and date of Sherman’s inspections. But the town reported back there were no records of inspection reports in 2016. Town Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis said, “We absolutely do the required inspection.... What it revealed was that our record-keeping was lacking.” Lefkaditis also said the board discussed the "personnel" issue in executive session, and also discussed changing town policies in that meeting, which would seem to violate the public meetings law. Robert Freeman, chairman of the New York State Committee on Open Government said that if “personnel” refers to a discussion of policy, the board discussion should be public, not in closed session. The town also delayed fulfilling the FOIL request, first appealing the request, which the Town Clerk though meant "denied." Lefkaditis also said that he is not sure if there are missing records of reports in other years. Read the full story in The Altamont Enterprise.