16th Ward candidate Coleman ordered to fix up home

SHARE 16th Ward candidate Coleman ordered to fix up home
SHARE 16th Ward candidate Coleman ordered to fix up home

Stephanie Coleman, a 16th Ward aldermanic candidate, has 120 days to make repairs to a home she owns in Englewood or it will face a wrecking ball.

The 27-year-old was not in the courtroom Tuesday when Cook County Housing Court Judge Mark J. Ballard imposed the deadline and ordered that electrical and dry wall problems, among other issues at the home, be fixed.

Her father, David Coleman, 80, who co-owns the property, attended the hearing but did not comment.

“If the work is not done by July 28, then you’ve got a problem,” said Ballard, who additionally ordered the home be kept safe and secure.

The property is on the 900 block of West 59th Street.

Coleman, the daughter of former Ald. Shirley Coleman, is in a runoff against Toni L. Foulkes. In the general election Coleman garnered 2,096 votes while Foulkes received 2,571 votes.

According to court filings, the Colemans must also fix broken windows, a vandalized heating system, stripped plumbing, missing siding, problems with the masonry, damaged handrails and warped floors.

Neither Foulkes nor Coleman were immediately available Tuesday.

“We’re going to continue the renovation of the property and by that period of time the rest of the work will be completed,” said Paul Fine, David Coleman’s lawyer.

The home is not occupied.

Coleman’s campaign spokesman, Jerry Thomas, said Stephanie Coleman is attached to the property only in name.

“She’s the baby daughter and her father just had her name on there pretty much just in case something happened to him, the next of kin would be her,” Thomas said. “She’s not in any way an investor or invested in the day-to-day operations of the property.”

Thomas said the situation has been blown out of proportion for political reasons and that Stephanie Coleman was not at the hearing Tuesday morning because of previous fundraising obligations.

“Her father purchased the home to provide housing to members of his church one day,” said Thomas, who added that Stephanie Coleman is committed to helping her father get the building repaired.

“And she’s committed to making sure that there’s money coming in to help people who are in the same position as her father,” Thomas said.

Foulkes supporters outside the courtroom questioned how someone running for office in a neighborhood with blighted homes seemingly on every block could end up in housing court herself for not maintaining a home.

“It’s irresponsible,” said Desmon Yancy, who is part of community organization with ties to Foulkes. “She’s had several years to deal with this.”

David Coleman’s attorney said the case seems a bit fishy.

“This is not a horrifyingly bad situation,” said Fine, who noted that problems with the previous electrical contractor caused delays,” Fine said. “The property is in relatively good condition, the inspector told me that the plumbing, the roof, the structure is OK.”

“My grandfather loved to tell me that Chicago meant the land of stinking onions in an Indian dialect. And this stinks. I don’t know what it’s from, it’s not onions. But this stinks.”

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