The Real Deal New York

Appeals Court upholds ruling banning Scarano from filing construction plans

Decision says “DOB can no longer rely on him to submit honest paperwork”
By Katherine Clarke | July 14, 2011 04:21PM

[Updated at 5.30 p.m. with a statement from Robert Scarano] A state appeals court today has rejected architect Robert Scarano’s appeal of a decision forbidding him from filing any building documents, including permit applications and construction plans, with the Department of Buildings.

“New Yorkers depend on licensed professionals to follow the law and ensure the quality of life of our neighborhoods is protected. Mr. Scarano betrayed that trust, and this decision sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for filing false documents in New York City,” DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri said in a statement.

Scarano said in a statement: “We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling and we are going to examine all legal options available to us. “Despite this decision, we plan to continue working hard to serve our clients and to maintain the high quality of architecture for which our firm is known.”

The initial decision, made in March 2010, followed accusations that Scarano knowingly made false and misleading statements to the DOB on documents relating to buildings at 145 Snediker Avenue, 158 Freeman Street and 1037 Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in order to have illegal or oversized buildings approved.

“While we find no support for some of the findings of the [Administrative Law Judge,]” the decision says, “we agree that the petitioner’s actions in submitting misleading photographs, falsely certifying that all objections had been resolved, and claiming entitlement to extra floor area resulting from a nonexistent community facility are supported by substantial evidence and warrant the finding that DOB can no longer rely on him to submit honest paperwork.”

The original charges came on the heels of a 2008 inquiry by the city’s Department of Investigation and DOB.

One of Scarano’s oversiized projects is now being dismantled.

In April it was reported that the rooftop addition atop Isaac Fischman’s “Hell House” in Carroll Gardens was finally coming down after the city agreed to rezone the neighborhood to prevent out-of-scale development. Fischman hired Scarano to build the 40-foot steel addition, which the city found Scarano had falsely claimed was legal under the site’s zoning.

It was not immediately clear how the decision will affect Scarano’s firm and its current projects.

Scarano can seek the court’s permission to pursue another appeal, the city said.

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