Clintons remodeled home without getting required permits

Earlier this year the Clinton’s bought the house next door to their current home in Chappaqua, NY for just over a million dollars. According to the Journal News, the Clintons then started renovations on the property without taking out permits for any of the work. At some point, someone turned them in and an inspector came out to have a look at the property:

[Building Inspector William] Maskiell, who said he visited the home Oct. 5, after the department received a complaint about excavation done there, said as he headed to the basement to talk to the contractor, he noticed the kitchen, floors and walls appeared to have been recently renovated and new electrical fixtures were being installed in the ceiling. The person who complained was not identified.

Maskiell said he told the contractor that permits were required.

“During conversation I was told that the owners wanted to have all work done and finished by Thanksgiving and were quite adamant about it and what had started as a paint job turned into this,” Maskiell’s Oct. 17 inspection report said.

As anyone who has ever had work done on their home by contractors knows, one of the first questions raised is usually, “Do you want to pull permits for this?” That’s because taking out permits can be costly and, more importantly, tends to slow down the work as contractors have to wait for an inspector to show up at the site and sign off on each element of the construction. If a contractor isn’t available that day or, worse yet, if he or she discovers a problem, the entire job could come to a halt. So the fact that this contractor was under pressure to get the job done quickly probably explains why no permits were pulled. But it’s not his home, it’s the homeowners who are responsible.

The story also notes that there are a few incomplete permits on the Clinton’s own home:

At 15 Old House Lane, a home at the end of a cul-de-sac where the Clintons have lived on and off since buying it for $1.7 million in 1999, Maskiell wrote that “during a standard records search and follow-up conversations” there were some outstanding permits there as well. That includes an electrical inspection at a library/gym, and a sprinkler sign-off by an engineer and the town water department, according to the building inspector’s October reports.

Granted this news has been completely overshadowed today by the FBI announcement. It’s not a huge story, though the Clintons may be hit with a few thousand dollars in fines for failing to get the permits in the first place as required. Mostly, this story is just one more example of the Clintons acting as if the rules do not apply to them.