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WPTV investigation reveals Riviera Beach spent $21,000 on unlicensed building official

Posted at 6:57 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-09 12:46:12-05

A lawsuit by the company Cold Storage against Riviera Beach and its building official is moving forward. 

In a motion on Dec. 6, the attorney for Cold Storage is asking the judge to force Building Official Ladi March to produce documents, relating to Cold Storage’s permits and plans. 

The company filed their lawsuit in November, alleging March was refusing to do her job.

“She refuses to review plans,” said Charles Bennardini, the attorney for Cold Storage. “She refuses to issue building permits, she refuses to come out here, she refuses to even talk to us.” 

The lawsuit is to force March to do her job and issue the necessary permits so Cold Storage can open its building for business. 

The city hired March as the building official in January, despite the fact that she was not a certified building official. 

She eventually got her provisional license in May. 

That meant that the city had to hire CAP Government, an outside company, to act as the building official. 

A WPTV investigation into the contract between CAP and Riviera Beach revealed how much taxpayers spent on the additional service. 

From January to March the city paid CAP $20,970 for providing a building official.

The contract shows CAP charged the city $7,200 in January, $6,400 in February, $7,200 in March, and $170 in April.

The lawsuit against March and the city also alleges that Ladi March gave a “stop work” order on the Cold Storage building, all while she was not a certified building official. 
Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated March was hired by city council when she was actually hired by then City Manager Danny Jones.