Higher authority says church safe for occupancy?
Posted in the Trumbull Forum
#1 Jul 23, 2013
BRIDGEPORT -- A defiant Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr. Tuesday vowed he would keep his East Side cathedral open despite public disclosure that the building has no certificate of occupancy -- a legal requirement.
"It's not closed and it won't close," Moales told a reporter following the disclosure in Hearst Connecticut Newspapers. "You're a real jerk -- have a nice day."
In the meantime, City Building Official Peter Paajanen on Tuesday got a talking to from Deputy State Building Inspector Daniel Tierney regarding Paajanen's responsibilities in the matter and the fact that the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit has been holding services and school for four years without the CO.
"Mr. Tierney has spoken to Mr. Paajanen and given him some advice on how it should have been handled and we hope and expect the local official will do what is necessary to ensure public safety," said Jeffrey Beckham, the spokesman for the state building inspector.
Beckham said under state law the state building inspector can step in and take over from a city building inspector who is not doing his job.
"But we have no information that is the case here," he said.
There was no word Tuesday from the mayor's office, despite repeated requests, on what they intend to do now, even though it is an issue that affects public safety.
Under state law, buildings cannot be used or occupied without a certificate of occupancy which can only be issued after it is determined by the local building official that the building is safe.
It is also unclear how many other buildings in Bridgeport have been extended the same courtesy, and are allowed to remain open without a certificate of occupancy.
The city's Fire Marshal has provided no information that the Union Avenue cathedral has been inspected.
Despite the fact that Mayor Bill Finch has acknowledged attending several functions at the cathedral and video of services there can be viewed on YouTube, Paajanen said he did not know the cathedral remained open.
Moales is chairman of the city's school board and served as Finch's campaign treasurer.
His church recently applied to the state Department of Health for a license to operate a preschool in the cathedral building, which still did not have a certificate of occupancy as of this afternoon.
The application is pending.
Since: Jan 08
#2 Jul 23, 2013
I heard a song on The Imus Show a long time back. The refrain had a line in it "Jesus loves you, but I don't." Seems like it fits here.
I tend to be of the opinion that those who appear to me to be stuffed-up cheap-suit god-shouters shouldn't hold local political appointments.
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