Two additional building inspectors, within the city of New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits, have been placed on 30 days leave, without pay, for falsifying public inspection reports related to the Hard Rock Hotel on Canal Street.
Julie Tweeter failed to show up for scheduled inspections on eight occasions and her colleague Eric Treadaway didn’t show up for four inspections. It is unknown whether they have taken any bribes to bypass the inspections.
Their suspension comes on the heels of a senior building inspector, in their same department, pleading guilty to federal bribery charges related to receiving $65,000 to falsify safety inspections.
The department used GPS systems installed on the city trucks to ascertain the inspectors whereabouts when they claimed inspections had taken place.
This further corroborates claims made by a construction worker, who was deported following the October 12th collapse of the structure, that the structure wasn’t safe.
The hotel collapse has triggered a federal investigation of the Safety and Permits department as evidence continues to mount that the city of New Orleans played just as a significant role in the hotel collapse as 1031 Canal LLC, the project developers.
The collapsed site is scheduled for a controlled implosion next month to remove the young man whose remains were made visible when a tarp blew off that was covering him.
In the last month, NOLA.com is reporting that all senior building inspectors have left the department, except for one. One in particular left before the city could cite him for also falsifying inspection reports.
As the city has made strides to rebuild their image from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the conviction of former Mayor Ray Nagin, the city made amends under former Mayor Mitch Landrieu with the removal of confederate statues around the city and now, under the city’s first Black female mayor, LaToya Cantrell’s tenure is mired knee deep in a federal investigation, the city’s role in the death of three hardworking New Orleanians and looming questions over her unpaid taxes.