Philadelphia's Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey called on Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Carlton Williams to resign immediately in a statement Wednesday, and accused the city department of being a "corrupt political machine."
Bailey, a huge underdog in the Nov. 3 general election versus Democratic nominee Jim Kenney, blamed L&I for "multiple building collapses, unlicensed inspectors inspecting our homes, and political vendettas against beer gardens."
Williams faced scrutiny earlier this month when an Inquirer story, based on L&I inspectors' claims, reported that the commissioner personally intervened to allow a Point Breeze demolition in 2014 without proper permits.
A spokeswoman for the Kenney campaign said Williams would not remain commissioner if Kenney is elected.
"Jim doesn't think it's fair to place the blame squarely on Carlton for L&I's long-term, systemic problems, but there's clearly a desire for change," Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said.
Williams' future has been decided for several weeks now.
Kenney and Williams met weeks ago regarding Williams' future and it was decided then that Williams would not remain with L&I if Kenney becomes mayor, a person with knowledge of the conversation confirmed Wednesday.
Mark McDonald, the spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter, declined to address Murray Bailey's demand that Williams resign immediately.
"Political candidates will say and do what they think will help them win favor with voters. That is their business," McDonald said. "Our business is serving the public each and every day and that is happening at L&I and throughout the government."
He also said, in response to questions about Williams' actions outlined in the July 6 Inquirer story, that "the Commissioner rightly used his discretion to get an imminently dangerous building demolished before it collapsed."