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— Clearly, Sanders, Sunroad, and the Development Services Department are still more worried about cost than safety. As a reading of e-mails and correspondence shows, from mid-2006 on, Waring fretted about the cost of making the building conform with federal and state safety laws. He had many friendly back-and-forths with Story, who was once head of land-use decisions for former mayor Dick Murphy. Several times, Story scolded bureaucrats in his e-mails to them, almost as if they were still working for him. Of course, they were, and apparently still are.

A comprehensive investigation is essential. "Marcela Escobar-Eck [director of the Development Services Department] must be forced to say [if] she was influenced by Tom Story," says Blank. Most of all, investigators should look at Sunroad, which owns auto dealers and real estate property. Feldman has roots in Mexico. He has given generously to politicians, including Sanders. Does the company have a clean record? Where does Sunroad's capital originate? Will the company try to use Sanders's faux confession in its lawsuit to squeeze money out of the bankrupt city that it has exploited? Such a probe would take much longer than a few weeks.

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