According to county officials 13 yeshivas have agreed to unconditional fire inspections Wednesday morning after initially refusing access to county inspectors today, Monday, June 6.
When the 13 institutions denied entrance to inspectors, Rockland County attorneys alerted the yeshiva group’s attorney Dennis Lynch, of the Nyack firm Feerick, Lynch, MacCartney and Nugent of their intention to bring the matter to court immediately.
According to county officials, after a short period of time Lynch told the county that instead of taking the matter to court, the yeshivas would acquiesce to the request for unconditional fire inspections, scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day told the Rockland County Times in an earlier interview that the county is okay with giving the yeshivas and other schools advance notice of impending inspections because the point of the inspection effort is not to “catch” people breaking the code, but to simply get everyone up to code.
According to a press release from the County Executive’s Office released shortly after the Rockland County Times initial story was posted online:
Lawyers for Rockland County were prepared to go to court to get warrants to enter the premises when the attorney representing an organization called the School Religious Freedom Coalition said the group had changed its mind.”The real winners here are the children who will now be going to schools that are safe,” Day said.
The county will follow up on the results of the inspections to make sure that any violations are corrected. “This victory shows that the rule of law will be applied to all in Rockland,” Day said. “No one is above the law.”
The county was empowered by the state Department of Education to conduct inspections at 49 schools, mostly yeshivas in Ramapo and Spring Valley, that either never filed required paperwork showing they had inspections or schools that were inspected by a Ramapo employee whose work was shown to be inaccurate.
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia provided Rockland with the list of schools and deputized the county to perform the inspections.
A team of current and former fire chiefs certified by the state to perform inspections will be doing the work.