Friday, November 30, 2018

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Appellate court upholds termination of former Monticello building inspector

MONTICELLO – The termination of former Monticello Village Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer James Snowden has been affirmed by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Third Department.

He was fired five years ago for approving the demolition of an old village building knowing that unabated asbestos was in it.

He appealed the decision by way of an article 78 proceeding, which was transferred from State Supreme Court to the Appellate Division.

In the appellate court’s just-released ruling, the justices wrote they found “substantial evidence in the record to sustain the charge that (Snowden) ‘committ[ed] acts constituting crimes’ – namely, endangering public health, safety or the environment in the fourth degree, official misconduct and criminal nuisance in the second degree.”

The ruling pointed out that at a hearing into the charges against him, Snowden admitted that he was aware that demolition of the building began without the requisite permits, but also that the contractors hired to complete the work agreed to do so for $5,000 rather than the estimated $150,000, in exchange for future contractors.

The decision also noted that the demolition resulted in the release of asbestos fibers where workers and passersby would be exposed to carcinogenic asbestos.

 


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