Landlord Does Time in Own Property

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A Richmond, Va., "convicted slum lord" will spend 40 days in one of his own rental properties after being convicted of more than 180 property maintenance violations.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Oliver C. Lawrence will spend 30 days in Richmond City Jail as part of a 70-day sentence. Then he will spend 40 days in home incarceration with electronic monitoring at a small, single-story house owned by his company, Bayou Properties.

"Until recent improvements, the East End house at 1429 N. 19th St. was unsecured and had a smashed-out window, and its shed was littered with needles, other drug paraphernalia and feces, according to a city inspector."

Assistant City Attorney Greg Lukanuski, who handled the prosecution, supported home incarceration on the condition that the city could approve the property. Lawrence also has a $1 million house in Ashland.

City officials have been fighting with Lawrence over the condition of his properties for more than two years. He owns 150 to 300 properties, according to city estimates. In 2007, the city cited 175 violations on Lawrence's buildings, including some in the 300 block of West Broad Street and the 200 block of East Grace Street that had been heavily damaged by suspicious fires.

Lawrence's troubles aren't likely to end with his release in 70 days. His sentence also includes fines of more than $177,000, according to the Associated Press. Plus, city inspectors are promising to keep the pressure on him.

Sound familiar? The judge may have been inspired by the movie, The Super, starring Joe Pesci.
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