New York Post

Inspect yourself!

City HPD guy’s ‘illegal deathtrap’ units


Nobody saw me do it. They don’t have any proof. — Housing inspector Derrick Allen (left)

A veteran city housing inspector was caught illegally converting his home — and then whined how his situation is nothing compared to those of cops in the Eric Garner case and child-welfare workers with dead kids on their watch.

Inspector Derrick Allen diced up the cellar of a Queens house he owns into tiny, deathtrap units that lacked adequate light or emergency exits, Administra­tive Law Judge Joycelyn McGeachyKu­ls found in a Dec. 20 ruling.

“These conditions rendered the cellar unsafe and a hazard to human life,” the judge wrote. “[Allen] violated the public trust and the trust placed in him. Accordingl­y, I recommend [he] be terminated from his employment.”

But Allen, who has worked for the Department of Housing Preservati­on & Developmen­t since 1994, told The Post, “Nobody saw me do it. They don’t have any proof.”

He claimed that he — and not his endangered tenants — is the real victim.

“Every policeman that runs a red light loses his job? Look how many policemen shoot people, take a life. Look how many social workers did something that they didn’t realize would cost the life of a child, and they get transferre­d. Why is it me that everyone’s picking on? It’s a double standard,” he raged after a Post reporter showed him the judge’s ruling.

“I saw the police in Staten Island, six guys on one man, choking him to death on the TV,” he said, apparently referring to the 2014 death of Eric Garner. “All those guys are free. One little misconduct and they’re going to blow me up like this?”

Allen allegedly built five rooms — including at least two bedrooms — along with gas and water hookups in the cellar of his two-family house on 255th Street in Rosedale.

The constructi­on was illegal because the gas work was done without a permit. The cellar is more than halfway below ground and lacks adequate emergency exits, investigat­ors claimed in court documents.

In his job, Allen issued citations for the same dangerous conduct he is accused of, court papers note.

A tenant in Allen’s building complained to the city that her water did not work, and HPD inspector Mark Lukovsky found the illegal rooms and hookups on Aug. 26, 2016, according to court records.

The discovery made Lukovsky “uncomforta­ble” because “housing inspectors are supposed to respect the law and provide comfort to tenants,” records state.

Two of Lukovsky’s supervisor­s inspected the home on separate occasions and agreed with his conclusion, records state.

Separately, Allen is accused of defying building law and slapping together another two bedrooms with gas and water in the cellar of a 196th Street home he also owns, although the judge did not address those accusation­s in her recommenda­tion.

Allen was arrested on Sept. 6, 2016, and charged with second-degree reckless endangerme­nt and creating an immediatel­y hazardous code violation. He said that after the arrest, he was moved to a “rubber room” gig and allowed to collect his full pay of about $59,000.

More than a year later, the case is still pending in Queens Criminal Court. Allen is scheduled to return to court on Jan. 25, records show.

He also owes the city almost $90,000 in fines on 10 violations resulting from the constructi­on, Buildings Department records show.

His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States