City Action Against Absentee Landlord Results In Forfeitures Of More Than $15,000
NOTE: See related story “Brophy’s Boondoggles.” ADDITIONAL NOTE: The article below is a press release from 3rd District Ald. Mike D’Amato’s office and was not written by Riverwest Currents staff Numerous Violations Result In Tough Action Against East Side-Based Brophy
A Milwaukee landlord found out this week that there is a price to pay for endangering tenants by not addressing repeated code violations at properties he owns in the city. On Tuesday, Municipal Court Judge David Halbrooks followed city recommendations and rendered guilty verdicts in five city code compliance cases against east side resident and landlord Timothy Brophy, Jr. and ordered him to pay forfeitures of $15,524. Brophy was not offered any plea agreements by the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS) or the City Attorney and was given 90 days to either pay the forfeitures or completely correct the problems. If within 90 days the city agrees that all of the violations have been completely rectified, Brophy may have the opportunity to ask Judge Halbrooks to modify the penalties. Brophy’s attorney entered no contest pleas in all five cases. According to city records, Brophy has 24 convictions and numerous citations related to building and zoning cases in the last three years. A check of his 72 properties recorded with the city shows that 65 have tallied a whopping 2,207 violations — for an average of just over 30 violations per property. He is one of the top three violators of building code cases with convictions in the city who remains in business at this time. Ald. Michael S. D’Amato, who represents the 3rd Aldermanic District where many of the properties in the cases against Brophy are located, said the fines are some of the heftiest ever levied by the Municipal Court against a city landlord. “The city has gone to great lengths to allow Mr. Brophy an opportunity to comply with numerous code violations at his properties, but he has chosen to all but ignore those orders,” said Ald. D’Amato. “In this instance Judge Halbrooks and the city moved to protect the health, safety and welfare of Mr. Brophy’s tenants, and also sent a clear message that absentee landlords who are repeat offenders and who ignore orders on their properties will eventually face the consequences in court.” “This is no small matter — irresponsible landlords can truly ruin a neighborhood,” Ald. D’Amato said. Of Brophy’s 72 properties currently recorded with DNS, there are numerous outstanding orders and code violations pending as well as complaints on record with the department. The forfeitures ordered by Judge Halbrooks on Tuesday were for the following Brophy properties: 2209 N. Newhall St. — citation, violation of placard ($524). The third floor of the property was ordered vacated until the owner obtained a certificate (permit) to allow the property to be occupied. That certificate was not obtained. On 11/14/03, an inspector found the illegal third floor unit of the property occupied and issued a citation to Brophy for violating the placard order and declared it to be illegally occupied. 2313 E. Linnwood Ave. — code compliance order ($1,200). A code compliance inspection of the property was performed and orders were issued to do exterior painting and to repair two other exterior code violations on the siding and chimney. The chimney and siding repairs were not done. 513 E. Meinecke Ave. — code enforcement order ($8,400). A complaint was received from a citizen and an inspection was done by the residential code enforcement inspector. Orders were issued to correct 19 exterior and 11 interior code violations, to include defective windows, roofing, porches, interior walls, plumbing and a door. Twenty-eight of those 30 violations were not corrected. 2410 N. Humboldt Blvd. — code compliance order ($2,700). A code compliance inspection of the property was performed and orders were issued to repair 11 exterior code violations to include sidewalks, windows, foundation defects, doors, porches and painting. Seven of those violations were not corrected. 2955 N. Buffum St. — code compliance order ($2,700). A code compliance inspection of the property was performed and orders were issued to correct 26 exterior code violations to include painting, foundation defects, defective gutters, windows, sidewalks, porches and doors. Sixteen violations were not corrected. In recent years Brophy has listed a home located at 2915 N. Lake Dr. as his residence, although it is unclear whether he currently resides there. To view the information on Brophy, go to the web page for the Department of Neighborhood Services at www.milwaukee.gov and do a search of properties by name (Timothy Brophy Jr.).