“Town officials have vowed to investigate state allegations that Fire Inspector Adam Peltz either failed to see serious safety violations at several private schools or ignored the problems.
Either way, state Education Department officials told Ramapo in letters that they want answers. The criticism came as the state Division of Building Standards and Codes has threatened to take control of Ramapo inspections because of numerous illegal private schools and other buildings.
Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said Monday that Peltz’s work will be reviewed and fresh inspections will be done. St. Lawrence said punitive action would be taken against Peltz, if appropriate, after the internal investigation by the Town Attorney’s Office and the Building Department, led by Peltz’s boss, Anthony Mallia.
“We are concerned about safety of students and staff in school buildings,” St. Lawrence said. “We’re doing internal investigations and re-inspections. We will take appropriate disciplinary action if necessary.”
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement that action must be taken before there is a tragedy.
“The state has finally acknowledged what I have been saying for years: Ramapo is failing to take satisfactory action to safeguard children who attend private schools,” Day said. “If Ramapo continues to shirk its responsibility to inspect and act on fire safety violations at private schools let the state empower the County of Rockland to do the job.”
The Education Department’s Office of Facilities Planning sent letters in March to St. Lawrence and Peltz critically analyzing Peltz’ inspections of four private schools and raising questions about his overall work: The cited schools were the Rockland Institute for Special Education (known as RISE for special needs children), Bais Yaakov, the Green Meadow Waldorf School and Bais Yehuda.”
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