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Mayor Jean Stothert | City of Omaha

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(January 26, 2019)

The owner of the Yale Park Apartments has a February 4th deadline to turn himself in, or the City Prosecutor plans to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Prosecutor Matt Kuhse plans to charge Kay Anderson with 100 counts of violating Section 48-53 of the City of Omaha Municipal Code.  Each count carries a $500 fine, six months in jail, or both. Kuhse said the most severe penalty could be 50 years in jail.

In September, City housing inspectors closed Yale Park Apartments at 33rd and Lake, documenting 2,000 code violations ranging from unsanitary conditions to gas leaks, electrical, and structural violations.  Kuhse said the charges address the “most egregious” violations. All are misdemeanors. The 500 residents, all refugee families, have been relocated to new housing.

“What I’ve seen, these are terrible, horrible living conditions that no person should live with,” said Kuhse.

Following the September inspection, Anderson had 30 days to begin repairs on the apartments. City ordinance allows for a 30-day extension, which was granted.  He then received an additional 30-day extension, which expired on January 17. As of January 25th, Anderson had not applied for any permits to make repairs. Anderson told housing inspectors he is out of town until February 4.

“What we often see is some type of progress.  Having seen none, this is the step we are taking,” said Kuhse.

“It’s been 127 days since the Yale Park inspection,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “We intend to take the most severe criminal actions possible. This is serious, serious business.”

Chief Housing Inspector Scott Lane estimates repairs at Yale Park will cost $2 million to bring the apartments up to code.

“We don’t file criminal complaints at the drop of a hat. We want to file the most appropriate charges to get a conviction,” said Kuhse.