By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the wake of last June’s Market Street building collapse, Mayor Nutter is creating a new commission that will put the Department of Licenses and Inspections under a microscope. Such a probe was requested by relatives of some of the victims.
One of the six who died in the collapse, Anne Bryan, was the daughter of a top official in the Nutter Administration, City Treasurer Nancy Winkler. Winkler and her husband had been publicly calling on the mayor to create an independent panel to look closely at L&I, and now the mayor has done that.
“Its an independent entity to look at a department from top to bottom. We’ve gathered local, state and national experts to help us in this task, completely from the outside. Anyone in the executive branch of government is required to cooperate and assist this commission in their work,” Nutter said.
Chairing the panel is Glenn P. Corbett, an Associate Professor of Fire Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/City University of New York. Named as executive director of the panel is former U.S. Attorney Peter Vaira, who said the probe will be thorough, and out of the public eye.
“Public hearings are probably the least effective way to get information. So most of our investigation will be done by private investigators and personnel on this staff in one-to-one, face-to-face communications with persons. We’re after facts. We’re after information to find out if something went wrong, what went wrong,” Vaira said.
In response, Winkler and her husband Jay Bryan issued a statement applauding the move as “sincere and immensely moving.” The commission must issue its report to the mayor by next July.