Late L&I Inspector's Videotape: 'It Wasn't My Fault'

Late L&I Inspector's Videotape: 'It Wasn't My Fault'

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CENTER CITY -

Just hours after Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections building inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer ended his own life Wednesday night, sources say police found a videotape on which Wagenhoffer says "it wasn't my fault."

He was referring to the building collapse that took the lives of six people and injured 13 more last week at 22nd and Market streets.

"He was a consummate professional, and I support him," Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison told FOX 29.

Gillison confirmed there was a videotape message left behind by the veteran city employee. Wagenhoffer was the last city official to inspect the demolition site that later collapsed, causing the tragedy.

Gillison once again stood behind Wagenhoffer.

"Everything that I have seen so far indicates that Mr. Wagenhoffer did his job and did it under the code. I stand by that," Gillison added.

Gillison disputed earlier media reports that Wagenhoffer accepted blame for the collapse on the tape. Several sources, who have seen the videotape, told FOX 29 on Friday that those earlier reports were wrong.

Gillison says the L&I inspector and the agency did what they were supposed to at the demolition site.

"I stand by the fact that he did his job on that day, and I'll back him until I'm proven otherwise," he said.

Sources also say city officials have independently confirmed that Wagenhoffer did a thorough inspection of the demolition site back on May 14 after a citizen complaint. He ruled the complaint "unfounded."

"I know he was there on the date that he said he was there. I have reports to that effect," Gillison explained.

Sources say Wagenhoffer was seated in his pickup truck with his cell phone camera on the dashboard.

He recorded one videotape message for his wife and son and the second one addressing the collapse. He was dressed in his blue L&I uniform shirt on the videotape.

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