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Milwaukee moves for more parking garage contempt charges (UPDATE)

By: Molly Willms//July 3, 2013//

Milwaukee moves for more parking garage contempt charges (UPDATE)

By: Molly Willms//July 3, 2013//

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The city of Milwaukee is seeking to raze a closed parking garage at 601 W. Wells St. Court documents filed Wednesday say the structure is in “danger of collapse.” (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Milwaukee city attorneys are pursuing a second set of contempt charges against the owner of a downtown parking garage.

The city has been in litigation over the garage and its unfulfilled raze order with its owner, TTOW Properties LLC, Texas, since February. The first raze order was issued in 2011.

The motion for contempt concerns what the city calls TTOW’s lack of compliance with a March stipulation regarding safety and security of the building.

According to court documents filed Wednesday, the parking garage and attached retail space at 601 W. Wells St. is in “danger of collapse.”

City attorneys are asking for an additional $2,000 per day from TTOW, in addition to the $2,000 daily contempt fine ordered by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Martens last week. They are also asking for a one-time fine of $10,000.

According to city inspector Brian Kraus’s affidavit, he found open doors, a broken window and loose security fencing, along with “vandalized” electrical panels during two inspections of the building in the last week.

After the first inspection, Kraus called MLG Management, TTOW’s property manager for the garage, according to the affidavit. When he called, they said the doors and fencing would be secured.

Assistant City Attorney Nick DeSiato said TTOW is aware of the security problems with the building. Inspectors also found trash in the structure, and people have been sleeping inside, something DeSiato said the company is also aware of.

DeSiato said TTOW is “just not taking these court orders seriously.”

Representatives for MLG could not be immediately reached. Calls to TTOW’s office and the offices of their defense attorneys were not immediately returned.

Scheduling for the next hearing won’t begin until next week.

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