DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Could a red flag report have prevented the tragic collapse of the Surfide condo?
A 2018 engineering report on the Champlain Towers South building revealed "major structural damage" to the condo three years before the collapse.
The man who oversaw Surfside's building and permitting department at the time is now the assistant city manager of Delray Beach.
The engineering report warned Champlain Towers South homeowners that the damage required "repairs to ensure the safety of residents and the public."
Minutes from a homeowners association meeting a month later show that Surfside's building inspector told tower residents that the condo "was in very good shape."
Resident Susan Alvarez recently spoke to National Public Radio about the meeting.
"We sat there with the town of Surfside, and the town of Surfside said to us that the building was not in bad shape," Alvarez told NPR.
The town of Surfside's assistant town manager at the time was Duncan Tavares.
His job, according to the town's webpage, included overseeing planning and compliance, which includes the building inspector who reportedly said the building was in good shape.
Tavares left Surfside in March 2020 and was hired in February as assistant city manager of Delray Beach.
Contact 5 went to Delray Beach City Hall wanting an on-camera interview with Tavares. WPTV also left messages.
WPTV wanted to know if Tavares knew anything about that the 2018 engineering report showing potential dangers at Champlain Towers South.
A city spokesman texted Contact 5 that "the assistant city manager is not available for an interview."
Meanwhile, survivors in Surfside want answers.
"No one ever, ever, ever told us that this, that that building was in such bad shape. No one, no one," one survivor told NPR.