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Special Report: Structural engineers’ warnings over city’s mandatory retrofits have gone unheeded for years

Inspecting rebar, it turns out, may not have been the Department of Building Inspection’s No. 1 priority. One building inspector recalls a supervisor walking up to his desk and asking him to attend a holiday work gathering to mingle with builders and developers. When the inspector demurred, saying he had soft-story rebar inspections to do, the supervisor leaned into his cubicle and said, in a stage whisper: “rebar, shmeebar.”