Insult to injury? First, the Building Commissioner -- now ex-Commissioner -- fails to secure required permits. Then, he makes major renovations to his house, greatly increasing the square footage. [Going from a Levittown cape to a 3-story colonial will do that to you!]
Had the work been performed with permits and within the purview of the law, the ex-Commissioner's assessment/property taxes would have gone up by about $2000.
So who knew? [Or, more aptly, among those who knew or should have known, who would say?]
Now, it is discovered that Hempstead Town's esteemed Building Commish not only flaunted the law and abused his office, he also maintained an illegal accessory apartment in his newly renovated house.
What more can we -- what more can anyone -- say?
If the commissioner of the Town department whose duty it is to enforce the building code and root out illegal apartments, himself had an illegal apartment in his own house, who is to complain about Joe Blow in Elmont or John Q. Public in Levittown maintaining an illegal apartment or two?
We have seen the enemy, and he is well entrenched -- in Hempstead Town hall!
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Building chief resigns after skipping permits
By Eden Laikin
Embattled buildings commissioner John Loeffel faxed his resignation to Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray Tuesday, a day after it was discovered he had made renovations to his Levittown home without permits and on the same day building inspectors found an illegal apartment in the home, officials said.
Earlier Tuesday assessors were able to measure outside the home after they were originally denied entry. Building inspectors also returned and gained access to the second-floor interior, where they found the illegal apartment, town officials said.
Loeffel, who rose from deputy commissioner to the town's $112,398-a-year commissioner in December, should have paid about $2,200 more in property taxes this past year for his Knoll Lane home, said County Assessor Harvey Levinson.
After a reporter's inquiry Monday, Supervisor Kate Murray, who also lives on Knoll Lane, confirmed the town had no record of permits for the renovations or alterations and sent inspectors to the property.
By Monday afternoon, Murray, who had supported Loeffel's appointment as commissioner, asked the 38-year town employee to resign.
Loeffel, who was a code enforcement officer for 10 years before eventually taking over the building department, could not be reached for comment at his home Tuesday.
The department is charged with ensuring all town residences and businesses are up to code.
Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.