Booze settles with city over alleged junkyard
on December 7, 2014
Outgoing Richmond City Councilman Courtland “Corky” Booze has reached a settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought against him by the city for failure to clean up a property he has maintained for several decades, and which the city considers a junkyard.
Booze admitted that he violated a 1995 injunction by allowing the property to “be kept in conditions that were not neat, clean and sanitary,” Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Laurel Brady wrote in the decision. Booze has since brought the property into compliance.
Brady sentenced Booze to five days in jail and a $1,000 fine, but the penalties were stayed. As long as the property remains clean for six months, the penalties will be vacated under the settlement.
Reached by phone Saturday, Booze said he was in a meeting and declined to comment.
The property, at 22 Carlson Blvd., lies in a residential neighborhood and for years contained rusted out vehicles and vehicle parts, oil drums, discarded appliances and furniture. Booze purchased the property in 1984, and the city first sued him and his son, Kevin Booze, in 1994, for violating city codes by allowing the property to become a public nuisance. Most recently, the city filed a motion of contempt against Booze in August 2013 for failure to comply with codes and fines levied on the property.
Booze was elected to the council in 2010 and defeated in November 2014 in his bid for a second term.
In an email distributed to supporters, Mayor-Elect Tom Butt wrote, “Just in time for his last City Council meeting, it looks like Corky Booze got off with a light fine and a suspended jail sentence for violating an 1995 injunction against operating a junkyard, but he did clean up his junkyards. The City may move for award of fees and costs, which could, on the other hand, be substantial.”
Reached by phone Saturday and asked whether the city would seek the recovery of attorney’s fees, Butt said, “I don’t know. I hope so, but I don’t know.”
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