Revocation of license upheld

Licensed plumber violated numerous rules when completing plumbing work. William Harvey held a master plumber license and a master fire suppression license. The Following an investigation the Department of Buildings moved to revoke Harvey’s master plumber and his fire suppression piping contractor licenses.

Buildings alleged that Harvey repeatedly allowed non-employees to perform plumbing work on sites for which he had a permit. Harvey also allowed his employees to conduct work without a permit, and he failed to perform a work inspection before requesting sign-off. Buildings alleged that Harvey conducted “a vast plumbing operation with little knowledge of the work being done under his license.”

After a hearing at which Building’s inspectors and investigators testified, Administrative Law Judge Kevin F. Casey held that Harvey displayed “negligence, incompetence, lack of knowledge, or disregard of applicable laws, and submitted a false or misleading statement to the Department of Buildings.” ALJ Casey recommended revoking Harvey’s Master Plumber and Fire Suppression Piping Contractor licenses.

Harvey filed an article 78 petition, arguing that OATH’s decision should not have been based on hearsay. The Appellate Division affirmed the charges, dismissed Harvey’s petition and ruled that hearsay evidence can be the basis of an administrative determination. The Appellate Division also held that the penalty of revocation was not so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one’s sense of fairness.

Harvey v. N.Y.C. Dept. of Buildings, 180 A.D.3d 434 (1st Dep’t. 2020).

By: Katerina Pluhacek Garcia (Katerina is a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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