(FiveNation.com)- A man who personally signed off on the condition and safety of a Florida condo building that collapsed last week has been put on leave from his employment as a government contractor. According to the Miami Herald, the man, Rosendo Prieto, was placed on leave while investigations into the tragic collapse of the building are ongoing.
Prieto was working at CAP Government Inc., which provides building services to various government clients. He previously worked on the Surfside, Florida, building known as Champlain Towers South which collapsed last week. Despite the major structural problems, Prieto signed off on the building as safe. He worked as a building official in the Surfside area for seven years and left his position there in 2020, after he signed off the apartment building on its 40th annual inspection.
Maggie Santos, a spokeswoman for the City of Doral, said that CAP Government, Inc. signed off on a leave of absence for Prieto on June 28, but did not confirm whether the leave of absence was voluntary or not.
Prieto reportedly attended a meeting of the condo association in 2018, a month after an engineering company warned that the building has “major structural damage.” Minutes of the meeting, which were obtained by the press over the last week, said that Prieto believed that the building was in fine shape despite the damage.
The damage to the building was severe, and around 150 people remain unaccounted for among the rubble. At least 11 people are confirmed dead.
Sadly, the condition of the building was known. Jean Wodnicki, the president of the condo association, described in a letter in April that the condition of the building’s garage had become “significantly worse” and that oftentimes the damage cannot be accurately determined by a surface inspection.
It looks like Prieto has a huge burden on his shoulders, but until all the facts are known, we should probably avoid jumping to any conclusions…