Cumberland Gap council votes to keep fired building inspector

Published 3:49 pm Thursday, June 9, 2022

By Elizabeth Manning

During the Cumberland Gap Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting, alderman members voted to keep city building inspector Don Bryant.

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Mayor Pucciarelli terminated Bryant, a move that requires the council to ratify. According to the charter and ordinances, the mayor has the authority to hire and fire, but the termination requires ratification.

According to business owners in the Gap, Bryant has not been following inspection guidelines. Owners of the Old Church say they did not receive any form of documentation during the restoration process and only have a certificate of occupancy. Nineteen19 says it did not receive a punch list of things it needed, and went on to say that Bryant only gave them verbal documentation and said the job wasn’t so complex to where he couldn’t keep information in verbal form. Mayor Pucciarelli saidd that the city recently was involved in a lawsuit due to Bryant not keeping records.

During the meeting, Bryant said that he does not need to keep documentation due to the small community and can store the information in his head. As section [A] 104.7 of if International Building Codes states: “The building official shall keep official records of applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees collected, reports of inspections, and notices and orders issued. Such records shall be retained in the official records for the period required for retention of public records.”

Business owner Bill Linn said during the meeting that he and Bryant exchanged messages about the gross amount of items in his permit. Linn said he responded with $100,000, while Bryant said the amount would be $132,000. Bryant claims that the extra $32,000 is for labor, but Linn and his wife say they restored the old church themselves. The Linns would not have to pay labor costs due to sweat equity.

Kathy Maxwell said she wanted more transparency.