Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Rick D. Chandler Stepping Down As Buildings Commissioner

January 4, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that Rick D. Chandler, PE, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings from Harlem to Hollis.

Chandler will be retiring from city service after 31 years with the city, including nearly 20 with the Department, four of which were as Commissioner. Commissioner Chandler led a sweeping modernization effort touching every part of the Buildings Department, including the launch of DOB NOW, which will allow New Yorkers to do all business with DOB online; hiring more than 230 new inspectors and 150 technical staff, resulting in significantly faster permit reviews and inspections of construction sites and 311 complaints; and regulating the city’s real estate and construction industries during the largest building boom in at least 50 years.

Thomas Fariello, RA, the agency’s First Deputy Commissioner, will serve as Acting Buildings Commissioner, effective February 1, 2019.

“When I took office, I called for a fundamental reform of the Buildings Department – and I am grateful to Commissioner Chandler for helping deliver on that promise. As Buildings Commissioner, Rick presided over an unprecedented building boom while at the same time launching an aggressive modernization plan to give the public faster service and greater transparency about DOB’s operations. While I’m sad to see Rick go, I thank him for his decades of service to the city and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“I thank Mayor de Blasio for his confidence in me, and for the major investments he made at DOB. Our modernization plan is delivering quicker plan reviews and improved response times, bringing new clarity and consistency to agency operations, strengthening enforcement, and promoting the highest standards of integrity, both in the construction industry and within DOB. The centerpiece of these reforms is DOB NOW – a platform to bring nearly all the agency’s business online and into the 21st century, with far greater transparency for the public. I wish Tom well as Acting Commissioner,” said DOB Commissioner Chandler.

“It was a privilege to work with Commissioner Chandler to modernize and staff-up the Buildings Department to streamline our services for New Yorkers. As Acting Commissioner, I look forward to continuing to implement the Mayor’s vision for the department and to furthering our essential mission of regulating one of the city’s largest industries and keeping construction sites safe for workers and the public,” said incoming Acting Buildings Commissioner Fariello.

Thomas Fariello is a New York State Registered Architect with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of architecture and construction. Appointed First Deputy Commissioner in 2011, Tom has been an essential part of the Department’s leadership since 2003, when he became Deputy Borough Commissioner in Brooklyn. He later served as Borough Commissioner in Brooklyn and in the Bronx. His experience before joining the Department — as a private-sector architect and plan examiner with the New York City School Construction Authority — cultivated his deep understanding of the laws governing construction, as well as the importance of leading the department to provide professional, efficient public service.

The New York City Department of Buildings regulates and promotes the safe and lawful use of nearly 1.1 million buildings and more than 45,000 active construction sites in New York City.

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