Housing official fined for home defects Gray is given probation, ordered to pay $300

June 28, 1996|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

A top city housing official was sentenced to two years' probation and fined $300 yesterday for failing to satisfactorily maintain a West Baltimore rowhouse he owns.

Arthur D. Gray, who is paid $51,300 a year to handle public housing complaints, was given probation before judgment by Baltimore District Judge Audrey J. S. Carrion. He also was ordered to pay the fine.

Assistant State's Attorney Peter Dwyer said the violation resulted from Gray's failure to repair a dilapidated bay window of a three-story building he owns at 2551 Madison Ave. Gray is the landlord of several city properties.

A city housing inspector had cited Gray because the wood portion of the bay window had become worn by the elements, had gaps underneath and was unsightly, Dwyer said. But Gray did not repair the damage as ordered, Dwyer said.

"This was despite the fact that Mr. Gray is a housing department employee. He delayed compliance even though he clearly should have known better," Dwyer said.

Gray was removed from a job with the city's federally funded empowerment zone when The Sun disclosed that orders from city inspectors to remedy dangerous conditions at his properties had been ignored for years.

He told the judge yesterday that he made "every reasonable effort" to maintain the Madison Avenue property, but that he did not always have the money for repairs.

"It's not that I arrogantly or disrespectfully chose not to deal with it," said Gray, the deputy housing authority ombudsman.

According to a statement of facts read in court, the bay window citation was issued June 16, 1993, and the problem had not been corrected more than two years later.

Pub Date: 6/28/96

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