Hundreds of N. Miami Beach homes face reinspection

Dec 3, 2008

An unlicensed North Miami Beach building inspector has certified hundreds of sheds, roofs and fences in the last year thanks to a paperwork flub.


Miami Herald--December 2, 2008

Hundreds of North Miami Beach residents who have had their roofs, fences or sheds inspected in the last year will have to have them inspected a second time.

That’s because more than 500 inspections were done by a city inspector who was not licensed by Miami-Dade County. North Miami Beach staff realized Ideris W. Denis was not properly licensed when it did not get a renewal form for a county-issued license for him in October when all of the other renewals for city inspectors were sent.

Any inspections conducted by Denis have to be redone, according to the Miami-Dade County board of rules and appeals.

North Miami Beach officials had to appear at a Nov. 20 hearing to explain why Denis had been able to perform inspections without a proper license.

Denis was hired by the city in December 2007. City building departments are required to fill out and send paperwork to the county in order for inspectors to get the Miami-Dade license.

But the paperwork for Denis’ license was never sent, City Manager Kelvin Baker said.

”We are doing damage control,” Baker said. “All we can do now is make sure we fix the situation as soon as possible.”

Denis has conducted 511 inspections since he was hired last year, said Phillip Azan, the new head of the city’s building department.

Roofs accounted for 174 of those inspections, the rest were sheds and fences.

Beverly Hobson, director of the city’s human resources department, said Denis met the proper requirements for the job and was qualified to work as an inspector. She said the lack of proper licensing was a result of an oversight on the part of the city’s building department.

Azan started his new position in mid-November. One of Azan’s predecessors, Dale Lee, said he interviewed Denis — but retired as head of the building department before Denis’ hiring was complete. Lee’s successor, Steve Pizzillo, resigned about a month before the city realized Denis was not licensed, Baker said.

Baker said the city would not charge residents for reinspections.

”I am optimistic that there will not be too many issues out there,” Baker said.

Denis has been temporarily assigned to other duties in the building department, city officials said.

The city is dispatching other inspectors to revisit Denis’ work, Azan said.

The county board wants a monthly update.

Michael Goolsby, the chief of the Miami-Dade County Code Compliance Department, said the North Miami Beach flub was a first for him.

”I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “It is up the city to make sure the proper paperwork is in place.”

Residents whose homes were inspected by Denis can call 305-948-2967 for more information.