In the 22 months since a botched Center City demolition killed six people, the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, the public's best hope for protection from future collapses, has continued to founder despite Mayor Nutter's promises to the contrary.

In a dramatic move after the collapse, Nutter called for inspections of all demolition sites. But according to an audit by City Controller Alan Butkovitz nearly a year later, there was no documentation to prove inspections took place at almost half the 442 demolition sites L&I said it inspected.

Now The Inquirer has reported that buildings in imminent danger of collapse haven't been inspected in years. Others were inspected by uncertified trainees, raising the possibility that negligent owners could escape citations.

The department's lingering shortcomings are a measure of failed leadership. It's time for the mayor to address whether L&I has the right management at the top to do its crucial job well.