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Resource ID: #25821
Subject: Building Safety
Source: Lansing State Journal
Date: 2012-09-09



What started as scanner traffic and a daily story about a partial collapse of a building under construction in downtown East Lansing, Mich., became a two-month investigation that revealed the project's developer violated state law by building without a permit and that city administrators knew about the unpermitted and unauthorized construction for months and did not shut it down. “Bureaucratic collapse” was the result of multiple FOIA requests and a review of city documents dating back several years to piece together the sequence of events surrounding the troubled building project. It traced the development from beginning to end and drew readers' attention to the lapse in oversight from city staff. The city restructured departments as a result of the building problems and promised a tougher approach to enforcement. The story also featured an interactive digital timeline that walked readers through the events and linked to public documents from East Lansing that they could navigate at their own pace, offering a richer and deeper experience with the content.

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