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Town of South Congaree fires building inspector who was working without license

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT
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SOUTH CONGAREE, S.C. (WIS) - The building inspector in the town of South Congaree has been fired after operating without a license.

This could affect all new home constructions and commercial buildings that were inspected under his watch.

Richard Lattimore was hired 10 years ago and one of the council members says his credentials were vetted then, but some time in the last decade they ran out and weren’t updated.

WIS talked to Mayor Cindy Campbell and she said it was a long time Lattimore was without a license, but she didn’t want to be specific to protect the town.

Campbell said the new municipal clerk was going through and updating personnel files when she noticed there was no certification for Lattimore.

The town contacted the state labor department, which verified Lattimore wasn’t licensed.

Campbell says they have a new interim inspector in place, Chris Netherton, who is certified and has already reached out to two new businesses, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and Dollar Tree, to make sure everything is OK.

After the condo collapse in Miami two weeks ago, this makes people who live in South Congaree a little worried about the structural integrity of buildings.

“After hearing this I’ll be concerned when I go into buildings in South Congaree,” Noah Bartlett said.

WIS talked to council member Jim Drennan and he said he’s embarrassed for the town.

He said ultimately it’s the town’s fault for letting it slip through the cracks and not noticing his certification was not up to date.

He said he’s personally hurt because someone he considered a friend lied about his expertise.

Drennan wasn’t sure how long Lattimore had been without a license.

The mayor said the town council will decide where to go from here at the next meeting.

The timeline for a new building inspector is not known at this time, but Campbell said the interim inspector is willing to lend his services as long as needed.

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