Former surfside official takes vacation from Doral’s post in the wake of a building collapse

Former Chief Architect of the Town of Surfside, Rossendo “Ross” Prieto, said he Troublesome 2018 report About Champlan Towers South Condo, and told the residents that the building looks “very good”.

In a statement by the city of Doral, Prieto is CAP Government Inc, a company that provides services in the building sector to government customers. Said he was on vacation. Prieto, who resigned from surfside last November, was assigned by CAP in May to work in Doral, one of Miami-Dade’s fastest growing cities.

“On June 28, 2021, CAP Government, Inc. notified the city of Doral that Mr. Prieto was on leave and temporarily assigned another employee to assist the City of Doral’s Construction Authority.” Doral spokeswoman Maggie Santos said. ..

CAP spokeswoman Edie Ousley has confirmed that Prieto is on leave. She refused to comment on whether the move was voluntary.

Doral has signed a building sector service contract with CAP Government Inc. since 2018. The arrangement, updated in April, shows that the city pays the company on an hourly basis for various functions: $ 77.50 for inspection services and $ 87.50 for reviews of various plans, including mechanical and electrical plans. , And $ 125 for a structural plan review.

Prieto did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

He recently Catastrophic partial collapse As of Tuesday night, at least 12 people were killed and 149 were unexplained in Champlain Towers South

A month after engineer Frank Moravito reported “serious structural damage” in the building in October 2018, Prieto attended a condominium association meeting and reviewed the report, the building is in good condition. I told the board that I believed in the condition. Obtained by Miami Herald..

According to records released by Surfside, condominium director Mara Chouela sent an engineer’s report to Prieto two days before the meeting, asked Prieto to attend the meeting, and had a pre-discussion with Prieto in the office. ..

Los Priet

Los Priet

“Thank you for welcoming us to your office. Thank you. We invite you to the board of directors. [Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018] At 7:30 to explain the facts of the 40-year inspection, “Chouela wrote.

Prieto told Herald last Saturday that he didn’t remember receiving the report and didn’t remember any major concerns about the building, adding that “if it had happened, it would have been dealt with immediately.”

After reporting that the NPR had attended the board meeting on Sunday, Prieto refused to clarify what he said from the previous day, citing the advice of a lawyer.

The morning after attending the meeting in November 2018, Prieto sent an email to the then town manager Gillermo Ormediro, reporting that “everyone in the room had a very positive response.” 40 years recertification.

In the recertification process, when a structure reaches 40, its owner hires a registered architect or professional engineer to perform electrical and structure inspections within 90 days of receiving notification from the town. is needed.

Then, if it turns out that repair is needed, the owner will complete the repair within 150 days. The cost of repairs can be distributed among the owners of the unit. And if a town builder decides the building is unsafe, the case is transferred to the county’s unsafe structural committee for review.

Champlain Towers South hired engineer Morabito in 2018 to assess what repairs are needed before the 40-year inspection process officially begins. Surfside officials said they had not yet received this year’s final report, which would require Prieto’s approval.

Prior to working at Surfside and then at Doral, Prieto worked in several municipalities, including the Miami Shores and Miami Beach. In 1997, when the Biscane Kennel Club collapsed early into a worker during a demolition project, killing two brothers from Broward County, Charles Schwab (36) and William Schwab (31) in Coral Springs, he He was an assistant director of architecture and zoning in Miami Shores. , Hollywood — and injured three others.

After the dog race, Prieto visited the Miami Herald and inspectors visited the scene four times, but their responsibility was not that the workers were using proper procedures, but that the work was on schedule. He said he was limited to confirming.

“Everything went according to plan,” he said. Told the Associated Press.. “I’ve heard that this is just a construction accident. An accident can happen.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not inform the demolition contractor Cuyahoga Wrecking of the dangers associated with the demolition of the clubhouse ground stand building later that year, and the workers were made of steel. I was fined for being placed in a certain area. The stanchions were initially cut without conducting an engineering survey.

Later, it became clear that Kaiyahoga Wrecking was not a licensed contractor, but another contractor obtained permission from the village office before handing it over to Kaiyahoga.

There was no sign that Prieto or the village was responsible for the case. They were not named in a lawsuit in which an injured survivor, Mario Giron, broke his leg.

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