Timing is everything. After uncovering a mud and debris filled boiler room at Francis Junior High School in July, Fire Inspector Alan Lancaster told school officials it needed to be fixed.
When he came back in two weeks to check it, it wasn’t repaired, so he went looking for the principal.
He found her leading a tour of the building during Mayor Adrian Fenty’s “Buff and Scrub” media event.
Lancaster diverted the principal and the Deputy Mayor for Education Victor Reinoso to the boiler room.
In an exclusive report, 9NEWS NOW cameras were rolling when they discovered a scene, Reinoso described as “appalling.”
Within 30 minutes of the detour, school engineers and maintenance workers, and some top education leaders swarmed the school to see it for themselves.
It was fixed within days.
But 9NEWS NOW has learned the inspector who brought the problem to light faces possible disciplinary action for the way he handled it.
Sources tell 9NEWS NOW, some of the mayor’s staffers complained about how he pulled them away from the media event.
Lancaster is now on desk duty while fire officials conduct an internal investigation.
His supporters say he was just doing his job, to help the city meet the mayor’s October 15th deadline to have a working boiler in every DC school.
“We have addressed it early and removed all danger to anyone in the building before the cold weather hits,” Principal Stephanie Crutchfield said.
Lancaster isn’t commenting pending the outcome of the investigation.