City Controller Alan Butkovitz and the Department of Licenses and Inspections have apparently resolved their dispute over demolition records by L&I's giving the controller's auditors access to the department's computer system.
"We just have to make sure we can run it and do our own queries," said Deputy Controller Harvey Rice, signaling an end to two weeks of rhetorical volleys between Butkovitz and the Nutter administration. "We think this will give us the information we need to do our audit."
Spurred by the June 6 Center City building collapse that killed six people, Butkovitz announced July 24 that his office would audit the city's regulation of demolitions.
Nearly two months later, the controller complained that L&I still had not provided the documents needed for his investigation. In a letter, Butkovitz directed L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams to show up in his office four days later with the requested material, or else he would take "additional measures," such as holding up paychecks of unspecified L&I officials.
Still dissatisfied after an exchange of letters last week, the controller sent Williams a subpoena, seeking an L&I database with all demolition-related records from 2009 to 2013, along with hard copies of any inspection reports not included in the database.
Instead of providing the underlying data, L&I initially responded Tuesday by sending 65,000 pages of documents as PDFs, which can be difficult to analyze with spreadsheet or database software.
After Butkovitz's auditors balked, Rice said, L&I brought its information technology experts into the discussions Wednesday, which led to the apparent resolution.