SHAMOKIN - A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for a 54-year-old Allentown man after he failed to appear for a preliminary hearing for allegedly creating a public nuisance involving two of his Shamokin properties.

Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III issued the bench warrant for George Atiyeh, who owns several properties in the Shamokin-Mount Carmel area, after continuing his case when Atiyeh failed to appear for his hearing Tuesday morning. The warrant was issued because Atiyeh failed to respond to a certified mailing requesting his attendance at the legal proceeding.

He was charged by Shamokin Cpl. Bryan Primerano with two misdemeanor counts of creating a public nuisance involving his buildings at 506 Bear Valley Ave. and 549 S. Seventh St. Primerano also was not present for the hearing.

According to a criminal complaint, both properties are in violation of the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) and Shamokin ordinances and create a public nuisance and safety hazard to the public, including adjoining residences.

Police said there are holes in the front and rear sections of the roof on both properties, which allow rain, snow, wind and animals to gain access.

Police reported Shamokin City Code Officer Rick Bozza warned Atiyeh about the violations several times and ordered him to bring the buildings up to code, but Atiyeh failed to do so.

Bozza filed eight citations against Atiyeh for offenses committed in October and he was found guilty on each of the offenses last month after failing to appear for a hearing before Gembic. Atiyeh was ordered by the judge to pay $2,272 in fines and costs.