Had a nasty experience with Christopher Maurice, an inspector from this office with a record as a violent NOPD officer – this man should not be employed in a public-facing position with the city.
The following statement was copied from a complaint I sent to his supervisor:
I was crouched down installing a paver alongside my house.
A late-model red Ford Mustang approached and parked across the street from my house.
A tall man in casual attire walked toward me.
He produced a camera and began taking photos of my house. He said nothing.
I said, at audible volume, “hello” – no reply. I said “what’s going on?” – no reply.
I waited a moment, “how can I help you?” He glanced at me and continued taking photos – still no response.
The man was entirely non-responsive. I then said “why are you taking pictures of my house?” The man replied, “because I can.” I asked “who are you with?” He responded, “the city.” I asked, “which department?” He said, “assessor.”
I said “I don’t understand. What is your name? What’s going on?” He shouted angrily, “I’m with the city” and lifted a small plastic card attached to a lanyard around his neck.
The card was entirely illegible from the distance between us (approx. fifteen feet).
I asked “what is this about?” The man was increasingly hostile and, in a clearly-agitated manner, walked back to his car to retrieve something.
I felt confused and threatened.
He returned with a clipboard and shouted “I don’t know who you are.”
I replied in a friendly tone, “what’s your name?” I thought it was possible to calm the situation and resolve any initial misgivings between the unidentified man and I.
The man said “I was about to give you my card.”
I waited but, he didn’t offer any card or ID. I asked “are you here for an inspection?” He said yes, the city sent me.
I replied “so this is a surprise inspection?” Flashing his clipboard at me, the man said “says here you’ve completed repairs, I’m here to inspect.” I said, “the permit was issued two days ago and I haven’t even paid for it yet – there’s nothing to inspect.”
He glared at me, indignantly threw his hands into the air then began to walk away.
I hollered “what’s your name?” He continued walking. I stood up and asked again.
The unidentified man hastily ran towards me and shouted “Lieutenant Maurice.”
Lt. Maurice hurriedly reached into his back pocket. Judging by Lt. Maurice’s visible/audible anger I wondered, for the second time during this encounter, if Lt. Maurice was reaching for a weapon.
Lt. Maurice pulled out a wallet and opened to show an NOPD ID.
I said “so you’re a police officer – is this police business?” Lt. Maurice rolled his eyes, threw an open hand toward my face (from approx. three feet away) and walked away.
I said “strange way of doing business.” Lt. Maurice entered his car and drove away.