Sunday, April 7, 2013

Elmira 'Crimebusters' Tag Non-Owner-Occupant Property Owners With Criminal Charges, Jail Time For Code Violations

In Elmira, New York, the Press & Sun-Bulletin reports:

  • The first Elmira property owner convicted of criminal code violations in 15 years was sentenced Friday to jail time by City Court Judge Steven Forrest and must continue to make repairs to one of the homes after she leaves jail.

    Elizabeth Holloway, formerly of Endicott, was sentenced to 60 days in the Chemung County Jail for violations at her 514 W. Water St. property and 60 days in jail for property at 262 Caldwell Ave. that was included in Chemung County’s annual tax foreclosure real estate auction Wednesday.
  • Forrest said he would levy no fines or surcharges. “The court feels that’s overkill,” he said. [...] “I have taken responsibility to do the best with both properties,” she said, starting to cry before being sentenced for the Caldwell Avenue property.

    Kelly said Holloway is retired, on a limited income and has invested $70,000 in repairs to the properties. “She has no more retirement,” he said, speaking against “putting this poor little old lady in jail.”
  • Holloway pleaded guilty Nov. 20 before Forrest to failing to maintain the exterior of 514 W. Water St. and failing to maintain windows at 262 Caldwell Ave. Her sentencing had been adjourned several times since January. She knew there was a possibility of jail time when she pleaded guilty, Forrest said Friday.
  • Forrest said he agreed that Holloway has put quite a few improvements in the West Water Street property, but the bottom line is she was convicted for failing to maintain the exterior. “It’s this court’s hope you’ve learned from this experience,” Forrest said.
  • Also Friday, Franklin and Harriet Lee of Westbury, Long Island, the former owners of 456 W. Water St., were each sentenced to $250 fines that are to be paid in $50 monthly increments starting April 15.

    They were originally criminally charged with failure to maintain porches in a structurally sound condition and good repair, and failure to maintain an extension overhang in good condition. However, that property also was part of the county’s tax foreclosure auction Wednesday.

    Campanella said the couple had no prior record of code violations. They pleaded guilty to a reduced code charge of violation of use.
For more, see Elmira property owner, who lived in Endicott, goes to jail for code violations (Elmira property owner, who lived in Endicott, goes to jail for code violations).

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