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In Long History of DOB Scandals, Money Talks

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"Disgraceful Corruption in the Department of Buildings" the New York Times headline reads, and if you're wondering whether it was written today, yesterday, last week or last month, you'd be wrong on all fronts: it was printed in 1871. It's pretty much Dump on the DOB Day in the wake of Patricia Lancaster's resignation (and also the best time possible to begin work on that illegal Robert Scarano design you've had stashed away), and the Times takes the opportunity to present a brief history of Buildings Department scandals, citing Lancaster's resignation as the "latest debacle" and a "black mark" for the troubled agency. The incidents themselves are not as exciting as the headlines ("The Building Department: Its Rottenness Exposed"), but the motivation is always the same. Alan Feuer writes: "The truest answer to the question of why this agency seems habitually in difficulty is also the simplest, experts say: It is money — and especially money earned from real estate — that makes New York City go around." It wasn't corruption that spelled the end for Lancaster, of course, but rather various missteps that led to a tragic construction accident. Which makes the timing of her resignation, a few days before the start of the DOB's Construction Safety Week, at least sightly ironic. Had she still been on the job, there probably would have been a whole new round of indignant headlines.
· Agency With a History of Graft and Corruption [NYT]
· Breaking CurbedWire: DOB Commissioner Resigns [Curbed]