Essex Village owners dodge questions outside courthouse - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Essex Village owners dodge questions outside courthouse

Source: NBC12 Source: NBC12
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

For the first time, the owners of Essex Village appeared in court for multiple criminal charges tied to building code violations the county says have been ignored. NBC12 has been investigating living conditions at Henrico's largest subsidized housing complex for months.

Renters have been living with broken railings, pest infestations, and pipe leaks which have led to mold. While the owners, Essex VA Investors, LLC/Paraco answers to the federal government, Henrico County officials have stepped in. The county has filed 18 charges against Essex owners for building code violations.

NBC12 reporter Ashley Monfort tried to ask if they had anything to say to the renters.

"We can't comment at this time I'm sorry," a representative said. "We'll be meeting with the residents."

The representative did not say when that meeting is going to take place.

Meanwhile, officials and even lawmakers, like Congressman Donald McEachin, have promised to hold the owners and PK management accountable.

"We think the only recourse the county has left to protect the interests and the health and the safety of the residents is to push this matter into the courts," said building official Greg Revels in an earlier interview with NBC12.

Henrico building officials were ready to present evidence Friday, but the only thing that happened was setting another court date for these charges for September.

County officials expressed frustration over the decision, but they said they will be ready.

Essex VA Investors, LLC/Paraco hired well-known criminal defense attorney Craig Cooley to represent the company. In court, Cooley said there is a maintenance team working to make repairs. PK Management said $1.2 million has gone into the property for improvements.

Essex owners and PK Management receive millions of dollars each year from HUD.

Essex VA Investors, LLC/Paraco are due back in court for nine more charges on July 28.

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