Plumber fined for 159 gas errors

Master Plumber submitted a large number of erroneous gas turn-on requests. The Department of Buildings surveyed all plumbing requests for sign-off and gas authorizations made by New York City licensed master plumbers between April 1, 2016 and October 31, 2016. The inspections by master licensed plumbers should ensure that all the necessary work and inspections have been accomplished prior to submitting a request for turning on the gas. Buildings identified ten licensed master plumbers who had the highest denial rates for plumbing sign-off requests and gas authorizations. Among them was master licensed plumber Valentino Buono.

Buono’s filings were found to be consistently filled out incorrectly. Out of 463 requests to sign off on plumping work, Buildings rejected 213 requests. Out of 270 gas authorization requests, Buildings rejected 159 requests. Buildings found that this level of failure was negligent incompetent, and demonstrative of a lack of knowledge and disregard of the Code and related laws and rules. Buildings served Buono with two class 1 violations of the Administrative Code of New York City.

The OATH hearing officer dismissed the charges, ruling that the evidence was not strong enough to support the allegations. Under Section 102-01 of the Rules of the City of New York a Class 1 violation is appropriate only where an immediately hazardous condition exists that affects the health, safety and welfare of the public.

The OATH Appeals Board reversed and upheld the charges finding that the 46 percent sign-off-request denial rate and 58 percent gas authorization denial rate proof of “negligence, incompetence, lack of knowledge, and a disregard of the Code and related laws and rules.”

The record showed that Buono repeatedly submitted requests with the same mistakes as previous requests. Buono’s conduct, given his responsibility for a large amount of gas-related inspection requests, caused delays in the inspections which could result in a possible gas explosion or fire.

NYC v. Valentino Buono, OATH Appeal No. 1700576 (July 20, 2017). CityADMIN

By: Samantha Albanese (Samantha is a student at New York Law School, Class of 2019)

One thought on “Plumber fined for 159 gas errors

  1. hello from Perth, West Australia. I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time
    to share this information.The plumbing principles you have written about are the same as where I come from.
    Thanks for sharing this information.

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