1. Why did the Savo Brother’s Self Certified Architect at Mount Manesa, Peter Calvanico, allow Gaspare Santoro, the asbestos inspector with a history of past violations who was hired by Savo Brothers, to submit fraudulent reports about asbestos at Mount Manresa? With 40 years of experience in the industry, why didn’t Calvancio know or suspect (as the Committee to Save Mount Manresa did) that deadly asbestsos was in these historic buildings and that hundreds of samples (only 19 samples were taken by Santoro) were required? Similarly why did the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) accept this questionable and fraudulent report from Santoro?
Self-Certification, is a process by which licensed professionals may bypass a full review of a building project by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). With Self-Certification, there is little or no building department oversight. Is it not reasonable that the community expect that the self-certifying architect, Calvanico ensure and certify that all work-including the issues related to asbestos, demolition plans and equipment is done in compliance with local and state and federal laws and safety regulations? Why is Calvanico still being allowed by the DOB to maintain this status at the site?
2. DOB Inspector Wilson Garcia was one of the 50 people arrested last week by the Department of Investigation. His name appears as an inspector at Mount Manresa. Garcia signed off on the inspection of the site after complaints were made that work was being done despite the stop work order. Based on this information and all the irregularities on the site…the community demands a FULL STOP WORK ORDER and INVESTIGATION OF ALL PARTIES.
3. Who were the inspectors from the DOB Best Division, DOB or DEP that inspected the Mount Manresa site prior to the start of demolition? Why did none of these city inspectors see the visible asbestos on the pipes and flooring that were clearly visible in the photos now as evidence by the District Attorney’s (DA) office?
4. Why would Gaspare Santoro risk his career, professional license, and criminal charges and possibly imprisonment and file the fraudulent reports? What could he gain by submitting a fraudulent report if he was already being paid an agreed upon price for the job by the Savo Brothers ? Was Santoro paid extra money to commit fraud and endanger the health of thousands of residents who live near Mount Manresa? Who really had the motive and benefited by a substantial financial gain if fraudulent-reports were submitted? Who would not have to pay for the expensive Asbestos removal and would not lose money by having the demolition project delayed?
5. The demolition that occurred at Mount Manresa exposed the public to deadly asbestos. Why is the DOB still allowing Calvanico to maintain self-certification rights at this site? Why hasn’t the DOB required that that based on the illegal activities that already occurred at the site, that all aspects of demo and construction go through the full review process?
6. The DEP’s Mario Bruno stated the DEP has accepted a new asbestos abatement from the inspector that the Savo Brothers hired and now the buildings at Mount Manresa are “Asbestos Free.” Why won’t the DEP test and review the results the site independently?
7. There may still be asbestos in the foundation of Mount Manresa. The DEP (MARIO BRUNO) stated that “once [the contractor] reaches the point where the foundations will be exposed, DEP will have inspectors there to observe the excavation of the foundations.” Who is responsible for overseeing the demo to make sure this is done?
8. Why has the DEP refused to put air quality monitoring throughout the neighborhood when the demo is allowed to continue as has been done at other construction sites ? This is a large project, with buildings that are known to have asbestos with 200 surrounding homes, many within 50 feet of the demolition site.
9. NYS Attorney General and the DA’s Office should review the sale of Mount Manresa again. Why did the 2003 Growth Management Task Force, lead by then Borough President Molinaro to prevent overdevelopment leave the zoning of Mount Manresa site R3-2, wide open for townhouses? Why was Borough President Molinaro, who lives in the neighborhood, the only elected official NOT to speak out against the sale of the property to the Savo Brothers and refused to speak to committee members about the sale? Did any city employees benefit financially or by favors for the inappropriate conditions that led to the cheap $15 million secret sale of Mount Manresa from the Jesuits to the Savo Brothers? We believe there is a connection there, that should be fully investigated. Savo Brothers contributed to his campaigns, as well as Molinaro’s renovation of borough hall, which there is no public record of this money (the renovation was handled by Borough Hall, not by DCAS, as is normally done).
10. Why were the Jesuits in such a hurry to sell Mount Manresa to the Savo Brothers? The Jesuits enjoyed tax free status as a non- for profit at the taxpayers expense. They were required to seek non for profit to sell the land to Why was there a confidentiality clause? Why all the secrets? Other Non-Profits in similar situations, such as the Children’s Aide Society at Goodhue and Boy Scouts at Pouch Camp were able to wait and the natural landscape was protected. What secret benefits were distributed and why didn’t the NYS Attorney General permanently stop the sale after discovering that the Jesuits were publicly soliciting funds and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to maintain the property for another hundred years while they were secretly planning to sell it to the builder Savo Brothers?
11. With all the building that is occurring on the North Shore, why hasn’t Staten Island been assigned a full-time representative from OSHA to inspect the sites protect the workers? We are the only borough that does not have one. The closest office assigned to us is in New Jersey.
12. What is being done today to preserve open spaces, protect the North Shore and East Shore from overdevelopment, to prevent non-profits from selling land to for profit builders and make a windfall profit and not pay taxes? How do make sure corruption and criminal activity permitting the sale and the destruction of the historic beautiful natural landscape like Mount Manresa ” NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN”?