Up in Flames

A fire inspector tickets his employer

"Assuming that was my motivation -- and it's not -- so what?" the inspector retorts. "The violations speak for themselves. Are they implying that had there been no attempt to hire civilian inspectors, I would've turned a blind eye to these violations? That's absurd."

Indeed when pushed, both Gonzalez and Jordan say they don't mean to suggest the citations aren't warranted. "My understanding is that some violations are more pressing than others," Gonzales offers. "We address them as we can."

"When we send our inspectors out there, we support what they do," says Jordan, who finds himself in the awkward position of defending his inspectors' work while explaining the code violations in his own buildings. "The intent of everybody here is to do the correct and right thing. There's no conspiracy at work."

Llewellyn, meanwhile, perseveres in his work. This past November he tried to drag the city to yet another special-master hearing, this one for failure to correct violations at Fire Station No. 3, at Collins Avenue and 53rd Street. City officials didn't show. They've since claimed they didn't receive notice.

A new hearing has been scheduled for March 17.

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