Meet the BRC Team

  1. Rick LaJoy (Staff Directory)

    Richard LaJoy

    Director
    Phone: 518-434-5995

    Biography

    Formerly Deputy Director, Rick was promoted to Director of the Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance in May 2018. "Since I came to work for the City, I've really enjoyed helping residents, whether it's tenants, landlords or builders," Rick says. "As an office, we strive to be efficient, transparent, easy to work with, and responsive to the needs of city residents. It's our mission to help Albany become an ever safer and more livable city for all residents."

    His first position for the City was in 2015 as the Assistant Director of Operations in the City's Department of General Services. He's also worked as a building inspector for the County, overseeing the inspection of vacant buildings. Before that, he was a Union carpenter for 12 years and ran his own home remodeling company for eight years. For over a decade, he has had his own home inspection company. "I live and breathe this stuff," he says.

    Outside of work, Rick is active in his church and spends time with his family.


  1. Valerie Scott (Staff Directory)

    Valerie Scott

    Deputy Director
    Phone: 518-434-5995

    Biography

    "I think those of us in Code Enforcement take our jobs very seriously, as we should...we are First Preventers.  It is our responsibility to help mitigate situations that put the public and First Responders in possible jeopardy."  Valerie feels strongly about her chosen field and works to ensure her fellow Code Enforcement Officers receive continual training and networking opportunities.  

     Valerie has over 25 years of experience in the Public Safety sector, having worked for Albany County and the City of Albany in the field of Code Enforcement. She is a nationally recognized speaker, having presented on topics such as "Alternative Methods to Achieving Code Compliance: Sometimes You're the Carrot, Sometimes You're the Stick" and "Expanding the Tools in your Law Enforcement Toolbox."

    She holds certifications from both New York State and the International Code Council. She is a member of both the New York State Building Officials and the Capital District Building Officials, for which she has served as Chapter Secretary and 2nd Vice President and continues to chair numerous committees, while currently serving as the 1st Vice-President. Valerie currently serves on the New York State Code Enforcement Disaster Assistance Response Team (CEDAR) and as the 2nd Vice President for the New York State Building Officials Conference.

    She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.


  1. David Lussier (Staff Directory)

    David Lussier

    Building Inspector

    Biography

    As a Building Inspector, "I do my best to move projects along and to usher permits, start to finish, through the process," David says. "My goal is to streamline the process, to make things go smoothly. It can be difficult because there's a lot of old buildings that are not conforming and the code is always changing." What he likes about the job is that it "keeps me busy. The days go by like lightning."

    In his spare time, David likes to work on a recently purchased house, although it's "nothing that requires permits."

    In June of 2022, Dave was promoted to Sr. Building Inspector.


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    Joshua Gold

    Senior Code Enforcement Inspector
    Phone: 518-434-5995

    Biography

    Joshua has worked as a Code Enforcement Inspector since 2013, and is a certified Code Enforcement Officer with New York State. His job is to ensure that buildings are being maintained in compliance with the state and city building and fire codes. "My job is to get compliance with the city and state codes, but the ultimate goal is to make Albany a more beautiful place to live in. The best thing about my job is it's different every day."

    Outside of work, he follows football and baseball as a Jets and Mets fan.


  1. Monique Kimble (Staff Directory).

    Monique Kimble

    Senior Clerk
    Phone: 518-434-5995

    Biography

    Monique serves the public by answering public queries by phone, email, mail, or at the front counter. She also oversees the vacant buildings registry and public assembly permits. "My philosophy is to treat people the way I want to be treated," she says. "People are here for help, and we want them to have a positive experience. If I can make it easier and less stressful, I've done my job."

    As well as working two stints in the Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance, Monique has worked for the City since 1996 for the City Clerk's Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department of General Services, and the Department of Assessment.


  1. Sam Wells (Staff Directory)

    Samuel Wells

    Neighborhood Stabilization Coordinator

    Biography

    Sam Wells is the city's vacant buildings coordinator, leading the effort to make many of the city's roughly 1,050 vacant buildings habitable again. "My focus is finding solutions to vacant buildings in Albany and getting them re-occupied," Sam says. "It's challenging and unique task." Sam notes that the vacant building problem is multi-layered, with solutions dependent on the condition of a building, where it's located, and ownership and legal issues.

    Sam is also a board member of the Albany County Land Bank and is working with the Vacant Buildings Task Force to come up with policy solutions.

    When Sam is not analyzing Albany's vacant buildings, you will likely find him playing ice hockey on a pond or in a rink, such as Swinburne Park.


  1. Jennifer Cruz

    Jennifer Cruz

    Information Clerk

    Biography

    Jennifer joined the Department in January 2022 as an Information Clerk and find the job a challenge in a rewarding way and feels she has learned much already.  "I'm happy to be of service to my community, my job is to be able to assist and answer questions the residents of the City of Albany may have.  I am grateful to be a part of a great team that helps and challenges me to be better every day", says Jennifer.

    Outside of her day job, Jennifer enjoys being a mother and spending most of her time with her sons.


  1. Alphonso Lester

    Alphonso Lester

    Information Clerk

    Biography

    Alphonso joined the Department in December of 2022.  It is important to him to be of service to his community, this is what led him to come work for the BRC.  "I like to do my part in assisting the residents of the City of Albany, everyday is different."

    Alphonso is a huge Giants fan and a bigger Yankees fan.  He enjoys playing softball and collecting different types of watches.  On his bucket list are parasailing, skydiving and mountain climbing.


  1. Ashley VanAlstyne (Staff Directory)

    Ashley VanAlstyne

    Permit Technician

    Biography

    Ashley has worked in customer service for most of her adult life. "I'm a people person so it just came naturally," says Ashley, a Permit Tech. She went to college at Johnson and Wales, where she studied business management. She likes the people in the Department and the work. "The job is a challenge, but in a rewarding way," she says. "Customers help me grow as a person. Sometimes they teach me what they know, sometimes it's patience, and sometimes I experience what it's like to walk in somebody else's shoes."

    Ashley has always loved to learn-she's a voracious reader and used to pick up a word a day when she was younger. "Since I've been here, I've learned something new every day," she says. In her spare time Ashley reviews newly released mysteries and romance novels.


  1. Harold Van Schoick (Staff Directory)

    Harold VanSchoick

    Clerk

    Biography

    Harold, known as Van, answers public queries by phone, email, mail, or at the front counter and often sets up schedules for the Code inspectors. He previously worked in the Albany Fire Department, rising to lieutenant over 30 years. "I retired there on a Friday and started here on a Monday," he says. "People come in here with problems. I listen and try to hear them out. Whether it's mice, or leaking water, or whatever, our job is to get someone in there to inspect and begin to correct the problem."

    Outside of his day job, Van has an appliance repair business and helps his wife with their two English Springer Spaniels, one of which has won best of breed in competition. "It's like having little kids. You have to teach them what to do."


  1. Ed Foley (Staff Directory)

    Edward Foley, Jr.

    Plumbing Inspector

    Biography

    Ed started his career with the department in 2002. As Plumbing Inspector, Ed's responsibilities include performing inspections, planning reviews of plumbing, heating and cooling systems, making revisions in the area of new construction and alterations to existing buildings. "It's challenging work," Ed says. "I see to it that the health and safety of the people in the City of Albany are protected and plumbing work is installed to comply with code. I am proud to say I have a good working relationship with the Albany's licensed plumbers. I like what I do."

    Ed has over 30 years of experience in the plumbing industry and also serves as a Plumbing Instructor, educating the next generation.


  1. Justin Lawton (Staff Directory)

    Justin Lawton

    Building Inspector

    Biography

    A life-long resident of Albany, Justin's family has deep roots in the Albany community. His great-grandfather was a builder in Albany, and in his travels around the City Justin can spot many of the houses and apartments that he built. His father, Paul Lawton, has been with the Albany Fire Department for 27 years and is now a fire investigator.

    "I've always been around properties," he says. "And I really like Albany history." One of his favorite parts of being a Building Inspector is the property legwork it involves. "Before I see a place, I usually do a lot of research on the property," he says, adding that he likes being out in the community. "I enjoy the contact with the property owners and the tenants. I took the job because I think I can make a difference for the quality of life in the community and for residents. We keep people safe. That's what my job is. And one day is never like another. The work is always changing and evolving."


  1. Bruce Logan (Staff Directory)

    Bruce Logan

    Building Inspector

    Biography

    Bruce, who grew up in Albany, has had a varied career. He started as a music teacher, then he did cabinetry work, and after that he worked for many years overseeing office rehabs nationally for Davies Office in Albany. In his current post, he likes traveling around the City in his job.

    "I'm not a desk guy," he says. "I get to visit people and places in every corner of Albany." One of the things he likes most about being an inspector is the work atmosphere in the Building and Codes Department. "I'm grateful to have this job, and the people I work with are great, interesting people. Everybody gets along and works together." In his spare time, he likes to take his boat out on Lake George, where he lived before returning to Albany.


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    John O'Connell

    Building Inspector

    Biography

    John was born and raised in Albany and has spent most of his life in this community.  He has previous experience in the construction field, and served the public during his employment with the New York State Attorney General’s office. He has also worked in the restaurant industry and has owned businesses in the city. “Having worked with the Buildings and Codes department as a resident, business owner, and a contractor, I understand the importance the office plays in keeping our neighborhoods safe, and wanted to be a part of that” John says.

     The father of two girls, John is also an avid sports fan and enjoys a number of outdoor activities. “I think of myself as a people person, and enjoy the process of building relationships with the people I get to meet and help every day”.


  1. Ryan Rusiecki (Staff Directory)

    Ryan Rusiecki

    Building Inspector

    Biography

    After graduating Hudson Valley Community College with a criminal justice degree, Ryan served in the U.S. Army infantry for 4 ½ years, where he deployed in Lithuania and Poland. He came back home to the Capital District in 2018, and started working in the Codes Department later that year.

    In January of 2022, Ryan was promoted to a Building Inspector from his previous position as a Code Enforcement Inspector.

    "I like being able to get out in the field," he says. "You're helping the City look better and helping make sure the places people live are safe. It's definitely a job where you can find a sense of fulfillment." His passion outside of work? Sports - particularly the Yankees, Jets, and Nets.


  1. James Futia

    James Futia

    Code Enforcement Inspector

    Biography

    James is a lifelong resident of the City of Albany, having worked previously for the Department of General Services for over a year doing cement work.  He has a Criminal Justice degree from Hudson Valley Community College and is pursuing his interest in code enforce.  "I enjoy making a difference in the community where I was born and raised."

    Outside of work, James enjoys camping and fishing.


  1. Vincent Giovannone

    Vincent Giovannone

    Code Enforcement Inspector

    Biography

    Vincent has worked for the City of Albany since 2002, when he started as a Security Officer for the Water Authority.  He later transferred to the Albany Police Department/Parking Authority working as a Public Service Officer and later a Traffic Safety Aide.  He joined the BRC Team as a Code Enforcement Inspector in December of 2021.

    In addition to holding degrees in Math, Science & Fire Protection Technology, Vincent has experience with firefighting and USAR operations.


  1. Alfred Hargett (Staff Directory)

    Alfred Hargett

    Code Enforcement Inspector

    Biography

    Before moving to Albany three years ago, Alfred worked in construction in NYC for 32 years, where he learned how to hang sheetrock and frame a building, do plumbing and electrical, and even how to lay brick. When he came to Albany, he got a job at Home Depot, and had stints in practically every department. One day, Alfred was serving an Albany Building Inspector who suggested that he had the right experience for a job in the Codes Department. Alfred was hired as a Code Enforcement Inspector.

    When he lived in New York City, Alfred was both a renter and a landlord. "So I understand both sides," he says. "I see my job as helping property owners and tenants understand what needs to be done to comply with the Code. Respecting the Code benefits them and the communities around them. I like what I see the Mayor doing," he says. "She's helping the City to grow stronger and improve its look, its housing, and she's getting rid of vacant buildings. I wish I had come to the City sooner because I like participating in change."

    Alfred is also a pastor. "I really enjoy serving people because that's what it's about. If I can't help, I try to find someone who can." In his spare time, Alfred makes jewelry, draws and paints.


  1. Kurt Leininger

    Kurt Leininger

    Code Enforcement Inspector

    Biography

    Kurt joined the BRC in July of 2021.  Prior to becoming a Code Enforcement Inspector, Kurt worked for the Water Department for 17 years and later the County of Albany.   Kurt, a married father of two boys, was born and raised in Albany. He loves spending time with his family camping and traveling, especially to Disney.

    Kurt is also very involved with his sons' sporting teams...soccer, baseball and basketball, which according to Kurt Albany Basketball has made him who he is today.


  1. Corey Norfleet (Staff Directory)

    Corey Norfleet

    Code Enforcement Inspector

    Biography

    Previously, Corey has held a variety of jobs, including courier, construction worker, and maintenance worker. He took the job as a Code Enforcement Inspector because, he says, "I wanted more experience working in the property field." Corey's family has always owned apartment buildings, but Corey never knew what happened behind-the-scenes to keep them safe for all involved. "I didn't know about fire codes and building codes," he says. "It's about safety. That's what I tell people: 'Do what's safe.'

    I've lived in Albany my entire life and it's good to do something that makes the city look better too. I like being a helping hand." He also likes absorbing information. "You can't do the job well unless you keep learning." He also enjoys a job that puts him in contact with people day-in and day-out. "We talk to people all day long," he says. "You never know who you're going to meet and that makes it interesting."


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    Theodore Pearce

    Code Enforcement Inspector

    Biography

    Teddy joined the department as a Code Enforcement Inspector in February 2022.  He is a graduate of the College of St. Rose with a bachelor's degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration.  Since 2016, while still a student at CSR, Teddy has been the operator of his own clothing line, whose name is an acronym for "As U Recognize Accomplishments.  His brand symbolizes the grind and motivation to setting goals and getting those goals accomplished.  Teddy is a creative person and his business is a self-expression of this creative and his passion for art.

    Teddy trains in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and loves maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.  He looks forward to being an active part in providing safe housing for those in the community.