A judge Friday found the owner of a downtown Milwaukee parking garage in contempt of court, and the ruling could cost the company as much as $2,000 per day.
Texas-based TTOW Properties LLC owns the multilevel garage at 601 W. Wells St., and the building has been the subject of multiple violations from the city and is considered a safety hazard.
The city wants TTOW to demolish the building and has issued a raze order and orders to comply with the raze order.
The city most recently filed a motion for contempt, on the grounds that the company had missed several demolition contract and permit deadlines agreed upon by both parties.
Judge Kevin Martens of Milwaukee County Circuit agreed with the city’s contempt motion Friday. He found the company to be in violation of several parts of a court order, but ruled that only two were intentional and thus subject to contempt sanctions.
According to the judge’s ruling, TTOW intentionally violated court orders to provide a copy of a signed demolition contract to the city in a timely manner and failed to obtain a permit for demolition.
Martens instructed the city attorney’s office to draft an order requiring TTOW to reimburse the city for attorney’s fees and billable costs related to filing a motion for contempt.
The company faces daily fines, but TTOW still could use the money. According to the ruling, once the company secures bonding and demolition permits, the daily fines can be applied to building demolition once all permits, bonds and contracts are in order.
The ruling stipulates that, beginning Monday, the company must pay $2,000 per day into a trust with the Milwaukee County Court Clerk.
Even though the city’s motion for contempt was granted on at least two points, Assistant City Attorney Greg Hagopian said the process still isn’t over.
“We did get a contempt ruling,” he said. “We still don’t have a contract.”