Sources: Gilbert's Bedrock lectured inspectors on how to do their jobs

Sources: Gilbert's Bedrock lectured inspectors on how to do their jobs

The firm orchestrated a hands-off policy from workplace safety regulators through high-level talks with the state, a Free Press investigation finds

Hudson's site in downtown Detroit, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018.  [Photo: Junfu Han / Detroit Free Press]

Hudson's site in downtown Detroit, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. [Photo: Junfu Han / Detroit Free Press]

Bedrock Detroit used its influence to get a rare meeting in the governor's offices and two of its executives were later allowed to tell state inspectors that Detroit's largest developer was exempt from scrutiny after it was cited for worker safety violations.

Executives of the Dan Gilbert-owned company had requested the meeting in the offices of then-Gov. Rick Snyder to "make sure everyone is all on the same page" after Michigan's workplace safety agency in 2016 slapped the company with a $3,500 fine during renovations at the David Stott building in downtown Detroit.

In May 2017, two weeks after that meeting, a pair of Bedrock executives appeared before veteran construction inspectors from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration and lectured them on how to do their jobs, emphasizing the company's role in downtown's resurgence, a Free Press investigation has found. 

"It was hard to swallow," said one person familiar with what happened at the meeting.

In a series of backroom meetings, Detroit's largest real estate developer lobbied state safety regulators to drop violations while convincing inspectors its properties were "exempt from scrutiny," Jennifer Dixon reported.

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