Safety issues spur Cicero to close church of minister facing fraud charges

SHARE Safety issues spur Cicero to close church of minister facing fraud charges
SHARE Safety issues spur Cicero to close church of minister facing fraud charges

Bishop Herman Jackson, a minister awaiting trial on federal fraud charges, could be in danger of losing one of the assets people have come to know him for most: his church.

Cicero officials on Thursday declared the Arc of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple a “safety nightmare” and shut it down. Jackson has until Saturday to address multiple safety issues or it will be boarded up.

Jackson once lived in the church, when he was confined to electronic monitoring and barred from residing with his family in Atlanta.

Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said town officials have “bent over backward” for Jackson, giving him time to make promised improvements.

“Nothing has been done,” Hanania said.

Among the safety issues are: “damaged and collapsed ceilings; water and mold in the walls which are bulging outwards; filth and garbage strewn throughout; and broken exit and emergency signage and damaged doorways,” Cicero officials said in a statement.

In addition to that, the church is without heat, water and electricity.

Recently, Jackson had taken to using forced-air, propane-burning space heaters in the pews, Hanania said.

“You continue to put your congregation at risk,” Cicero Building Commissioner Tom Tomschin wrote in a Thursday letter to Jackson. “Your property is in serious danger of electrical fire, and the asbestos, mold and fungi . . . pose a direct health risk to anyone inside.”

Jackson did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Both Jackson and his wife, Jannette Faria, are charged with plotting to bilk Illinois out of untold amounts of child care subsidies through their day care at the church.

In 2013, Jackson once told the Chicago Sun-Times that “the wrath of God almighty shall soon visit her home,” referring to U.S. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, who was overseeing his court proceedings.

He later apologized to Coleman, calling her a “Nubian queen.”

<small><strong>According to Cicero officials, the safety issues at the Arc of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple included: “damaged and collapsed ceilings; water and mold in the walls which are bulging outwards; filth and garbage strewn throughout; and broken

According to Cicero officials, the safety issues at the Arc of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple included: “damaged and collapsed ceilings; water and mold in the walls which are bulging outwards; filth and garbage strewn throughout; and broken exit and emergency signage and damaged doorways.” | Town of Cicero photos

Town of Cicero photo

Town of Cicero photo

Town of Cicero photo

Town of Cicero photo

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