Landlord given 60 days to bring properties up to code
SHAMOKIN - An Allentown landlord has been given 60 days to bring two of his Shamokin properties up to code.
Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III granted George Atiyeh two months to comply with the Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) and Shamokin ordinances by making necessary repairs to 506 Bear Valley Ave. and 549 S. Seventh St.
If the repairs aren't made within two months, the criminal case against Atiyeh will proceed. If he complies with the judge's order, charges may be withdrawn.
The judge made his decision Tuesday morning after conferring with Cpl. Bryan Primerano, Shamokin Code Enforcement Officer Rick Bozza and Assistant District Attorney Michael Toomey. Atiyeh, 54, is charged by Primerano with two misdemeanor counts of creating a public nuisance involving the two buildings. According to a criminal complaint, both properties have created a public nuisance and safety hazard.
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.
Atiyeh, who owns a number of other properties in the Shamokin-Mount Carmel area, was present for a preliminary hearing on the charges Tuesday, but that proceeding was continued for two months after the agreement was reached to give Atiyeh time to bring the properties up to code.
Last week, Atiyeh failed to appear for his hearing, prompting Gembic to issue a bench warrant. It was issued because Atiyeh failed to respond to a certified mailing requesting his attendance at the proceeding.
Police reported 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 March 7 after failing to appear for a hearing before Gembic. Atiyeh was ordered by the judge to pay $2,272 in fines and costs. He had not made any payments as of Tuesday afternoon.