Mayor's Office

Press Release

City Legal Claims Another Victory in Fight Against Slumlords

 

November 19, 2010 -- The City of Houston Legal Department has claimed another major victory in its fight against slumlords, securing a favorable jury verdict in a case involving a California resident with ties to multiple rundown buildings in Houston. “Our success in this instance is another example of how serious the City is about removing dangerous buildings that threaten public safety and drive down neighborhood property values,” said City Attorney Dave Feldman. “I commend my staff and the outside pro bono legal assistance we received for their aggressive handling of this case on behalf of Houston taxpayers.”

 

In this case, the City was sued by Saturn Capital Corporation, one of several entities owned and controlled by Alfred Antonini, a known convicted felon and owner of several rundown properties in Houston. The suit sought to recover costs associated with the demolition of an unsafe apartment complex at 8525 Pinter Road, which Antonini had refused to demolish. Because the property was in such bad shape, the City stepped in and paid for the demolition and then placed a lien against the property. The lien was finally paid, under protest, and then a suit was filed against the city to get the money back, with interest, an amount totaling $120,000. They lost.

 

Mayor Parker has made the removal of dangerous buildings a priority for her administration. A total of 910 demolitions, a new record, occurred in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010. In the first four months of the current fiscal year the City has removed nearly 400 dangerous buildings.