City tears down building inspector’s side job

City inspector operated above-board but city was concerned about perception
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/29/2013

This edition of You Make the Call features a city building inspector who was told to curb his independent business.

Pier De Simone was a building inspector for the City of Windsor, Ont., inspecting construction projects and enforcing city by-laws, zoning and property standards. Employed with the city since 1989, De Simone also operated an outside business of preparing architectural drawings for construction projects.

De Simone made sure to stay outside of the building plan approval process for city permits to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Though building inspectors normally weren’t involved in the approval process, he still preferred not to know when an application involving his drawings was made. He also didn’t accept commissions for projects within the city limits. De Simone also followed a city policy that prohibited conflicts of interest that could affect his job performance and required him to inform the building commissioner prior to accepting any off-duty employment that could affect his duties with the city. De Simone usually informed his supervisors of any projects within the city he worked on.