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Pittsburgh's Building Inspection Chief Matveiev resigns

| Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

The head of the city's embattled Bureau of Building Inspection on Tuesday announced his resignation after a little more than a year on the job.

Sergei Matveiev, 42, submitted his resignation earlier this month. It is effective Nov. 20.

He leaves to become a code inspector at Robinson-based Plans Examiners Inc. He later will become manager of the company's newly formed architecture firm, he said.

In June, Matveiev came under fire from the state-appointed Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. The authority gave the bureau 30 days to craft a plan to improve its building inspection rate, code enforcement efforts and customer service, which the bureau still has failed to do. The mayor chastised the bureau at the time, saying it was too focused on issuing permits instead of enforcing building codes on blighted properties that plague city neighborhoods.

Matveiev said the disputes weren't a factor in his resignation. "There have certainly been things difficult to deal with on a daily basis, but it was a great opportunity.

"The biggest honor and privilege of my career has been serving as chief (of the bureau)," Matveiev said.

Matveiev's predecessor, Dan Cipriani, resigned as acting head of the bureau in October 2008. Matveiev replaced him that same month. Matveiev had worked as a city building plan examiner since June 2004 and in the private sector before that.

Matveiev is the third Bureau of Building Inspection chief to either resign or be fired during Ravenstahl's three years in office. Ravenstahl fired Ron Graziano in September 2007 after 23 years with the city.

Public Safety Director Michael Huss will be responsible for finding Matveiev's replacement.

"I expect to do another national search. Let's try to get the best person for the job," he said.

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