By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Nutter Administration has reversed course and on Friday, released hundreds of pages of documents related to last month's fatal building collapse on Market Street.
The city posted a link to the files on its website on Friday afternoon, and the documents include permit files from the Department of Licenses and Inspections as well as Health Department files about asbestos at the scene of the collapse.
Originally, the Nutter Administration had refrained from releasing the documents because of the ongoing grand jury investigation, but after several right-to-know requests, City Solicitor Shelley Smith says they've released the material because the DA's office believes their release would not compromise the ongoing probe.
"What we're doing essentially is relying on their representation that the release of the information won't jeopardize the investigation. They're conducting it, and if they say it won't jeopardize it, then we'll take them at their word," Smith says.
She also says that once the DA's office clarified its stance, her office prepared the massive document release.
"Many of the documents were the subject of right-to-know requests. Some of the documents that were released were not required to be released under the right-to law, but we made the determination to release them anyway because we decided that the public interest was better served by doing that."
Also released were emails to and from city officials before the collapse in which the manager of the building being demolished complains about a lack of cooperation from the Salvation Army.
"They're trying to work with the Salvation Army to resolve the issues that they're identifying. There clearly was contention between the two parties as to how the demolition was being handled," Smith explains.
It was in the neighboring Salvation Army thrift shop that the six victims perished.
To see the documents, visit: http://cityofphiladelphia.github.io/disclosure-docs
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