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Owner fined for property code infraction

March 26, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

The owner of a Hagerstown property was fined $250 after pleading guilty last week to one violation of a city code that prohibits allowing someone to live in a condemned property.

Henry T. Piper, of 16120 Oak Tree Lane, Williamsport, pleaded guilty March 17 in Washington County District Court to the single count of the municipal infraction, according to District Court records.

The maximum penalty for the infraction is a $1,000 fine, City Chief Code Enforcement Officer John Lestitian said.

Lestitian said a city inspector on July 28, 2003, condemned the row house at 183 Berkson Alley near the downtown. But investigators found a rental document stating that a married couple had agreed to live at the address by Aug. 6.

Lestitian said Piper had worked out a deal with the couple under which they would correct problems in the home, including holes in the ceiling that were covered by plastic. Piper was cited Nov. 14.

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Lestitian said such cases are rare, but "once you have the case put together, it's kind of a slam dunk.

"You either have someone living there or you don't," Lestitian said.

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