SACRAMENTO —Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2485, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), which will prohibit local inspection officials from being accompanied by a person with a potential financial interest in the outcome of the inspection of commercial properties or businesses.
“It is important to ensure that individuals who are present during a code enforcement inspection do not have a conflict of interest when attending those inspections,” said Assemblymember Chau. “AB 2485 would ensure that a third party contractor may only attend a code enforcement inspection if they are there for a legitimate reason.”
In December of 2017, a newspaper reported on a possible case of inappropriate behavior by a code enforcement officer and an independent contractor. The article detailed an anonymous tip submitted by the owner of an auto body factory who underwent a business permit inspection. During the inspection, the code enforcement officer was accompanied by a third party contractor. After the code enforcement officer cited a number of non-compliance issues and left the premise, the third party contractor stayed behind and offered to fix all the issues for $30,000. The business owner was previously quoted to pay only $10,000 by his initial architect. Anticipating potential delays in the permit approval process, the owner went with the third party contractor, but suspected being the victim of an improper scheme.
Specifically, AB 2485 would allow a third-party independent contractor to accompany a local government code enforcement officers, or health officer, to the inspection of commercial properties or businesses, only in situations where the individual has legitimate reasons for being present and will not financially benefit from remedying any of the issues found during the inspection.
Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.