After it was reported last week that Honesdale’s zoning officer was not certified to do residential home inspections for more than three years and still cannot do commercial inspections, more information has come to the surface.


After it was reported last week that Honesdale’s zoning officer was not certified to do residential home inspections for more than three years and still cannot do commercial inspections, more information has come to the surface.

At the same time, more questions have also surfaced regarding the authority of zoning officer Wayne Earley — and who else might have been aware he was not certified.

To complicate matters even more, letters obtained by The Wayne Independent reveal these matters were at least on the radar screen of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) as late as March of last year.

The two letters were dated March 24, 2011, and March 25, 2011, and were sent directly to Earley. Both letters indicate complaints were received by L&I on Jan. 28 of last year regarding several properties.

Four of the properties — Home Depot, Wayne County Prison, Wayne Ford and Rusty Palmer’s — are located in Texas Township. But the letter was sent to Earley care of the zoning office at Honesdale Borough. The fifth property, Fromm Electric, is located in the borough.

In the letter dated March 24, it says a “complaint” was received though it does not say who made the complaint.

L&I Field Operations Manager Ron F. Englar wrote the letter to Earley, which says during the investigation, a request was made to Earley to produce records of inspections performed at the first four properties.

“You were unable to produce these records upon request,” the letter states.
It further states that a building code official shall keep records of all applications received, permits issued, reviewed building plans and specifications, certificates issued, fees collected, reports of inspections, notices and orders issued for all commercial buildings and structures under the Uniform Construction Code. It also states the building code official “shall retain these records as long as the related building, structure or equipment remains in existence.”

Interestingly, the letter of March 24 was also sent to “E. Langendoerfer, President Honesdale Borough.”

At that time, Michael O’Day was the council president. Langendoerfer had not been on the council for more than a year.

But on the letter dated the following day, it was also sent to “M. O’Day, Council President Honesdale Borough.”

It still remains unclear why the Honesdale council president would be sent a letter regarding inspection work done at Texas Township.

The second letter, dated March 25, concerns a storm water inspection at Fromm Electric.

It also refers to a complaint received on Jan. 28 but does not identify the complainant.

“On January 19, 2010, you performed a storm water inspection at the above-referenced facility. You are not certified as a commercial plumbing inspector to conduct storm water inspections.”

It goes on to say that during the investigation, L&I “requested records of inspections” at the property and  the “records were incomplete.”

A call was made to Englar, the field operations manager for L&I, but was not returned by press time on Monday.

An e-mail sent to L&I’s press office yesterday was also not answered by press time.

It asked, among other things:

“Hypothetically, if I were a commercial building owner working out of a building illegally inspected and issued a certificate of occupancy, what does that do to my building? How about a rental apartment or house? Do these have to be re-inspected? Who would be responsible for that cost? What if the place burned down? Would our hypothetical BCO (Building Code Official) be liable or the municipality?

“How did L&I track these grandfathered (BCOs)? Who at L&I was responsible for follow-ups to ensure certification requirements were met, or was there no such follow up?”