Experts Say Florida Law Repealed Under Charlie Crist’s Leadership Could Have Expedited Repairs for Surfside Condo

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA - JUNE 24: Search and rescue personnel work in the rubble of the 12-story condo tower that crumbled to the ground after a partial collapse of the building on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), slammed the media Thursday in reaction to a report which failed to mention that a 2008 Florida law, which could have ushered in repairs for the collapsed Surfside condo, was repealed under former Gov. Charlie Crist’s (D) leadership — a significant point, as he is vying to challenge DeSantis in the upcoming gubernatorial race.

An NBC Miami report details the repealed 2008 Florida law, which some experts surmise would have expedited multimillion-dollar repairs needed at the Surfside condo, which collapsed last month, resulting in at least 68 dead and dozens of others missing.

Inspections of the building began in 2018, and in April, the president of the Champlain South Towers condo association wrote to residents, detailing the millions of dollars in assessments needed to address the building’s condition, noting the “accelerating” deterioration of concrete.

The NBC Miami report outlined the board’s actions:

Reeling from sticker shock, the board procrastinated the repairs over the next two years while members disagreed over how to pay for it. By the time they accepted the work had to be done, the damage had gotten worse, the bill rose to more than $16 million and the board was in a desperate search for the money.

A 2008 Florida law requiring condo associations to hire engineers or architects to submit reports every five years about how much it would cost to keep up with repairs was repealed in 2010. Also known as a “reserve study,” it would also estimate how much the boards should collect from residents to prepare for future fixes.

“While the cause of the collapse is unknown, and investigators, experts and advocates are trying to determine whether the uncompleted repairs played a role, according to the Community Associations Institute, the repeal left Florida’s condo residents less protected,” the report added.

However, unmentioned in the report is the fact that such occurred under Crist’s leadership, as he served as Florida governor from 2007-2011.  A companion piece on the main NBC website makes no mention of Crist either.

“It’s interesting how they don’t specify in the headline which Governor repealed this law. It was Charlie Crist, who is now a Democrat running against DeSantis,” Pushaw observed, using it as another example of why people “think the media is biased.”

“If DeSantis had repealed the law, his name would be in the headline. Crist isn’t even mentioned in the entire article. Shameful ‘reporting,'” she continued, asking the authors why they failed to specify “who was governor at the time the law was repealed.”

“It’s pretty relevant because @CharlieCrist is running for Governor again now,” she added:

This is not the first time Pushaw has had to set the record straight on the Surfside tragedy. Last month, she debunked a fake news narrative a Washington Post reporter advanced suggesting that the governor did not quickly respond to the incident:

Crist, meanwhile, has continued to tout a series of false narratives about the governor since announcing his bid, “accusing the Republican governor of ‘stripping away’ voting rights and failing to properly prioritize seniors during the initial introduction of vaccines in the Sunshine State,” as Breitbart News detailed.

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