NewsLocal NewsCampbell CountyWilder

Actions

Covington rental home owned by Wilder mayor is condemned

Posted: 6:10 PM, Jul 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-03 23:37:18Z
Rental home owned by Wilder mayor is condemned

NEWPORT, Ky. -- The roof leaks over James Cooks' kitchen sink. There's a hole under the outside door big enough for his hand to fit through. Some windows don't open. He said there's no heat. 

In January, a Newport city building inspector examined the property and required Cooks' landlord to repair a wall, the frame of the home, windows and more. Two weeks ago, the inspector determined the landlord had done nothing to fix the house, so the city issued a condemnation order and required Cooks' family to move.

"It makes me feel pretty much like less of a person, less of a man ... because I have to live in these conditions and I can't do better for my family right now," Cooks said.

The condemnation order also states the owner didn't have a city license to rent the house. The owner and landlord is Stanley Turner, who also happens to be the mayor of nearby Wilder.

Outside a Wilder City Council meeting, Turner said he thought he had a rental license, even though Newport officials said he doesn't have one.

"Well, maybe they're right," he admitted.

Turner said Cooks and his girlfriend haven't paid rent, and that's why he didn't make repairs.

"She's way behind in the rent, and I keep telling her I can't do anything to the property because I'm not getting any rent from you," Turner said.

Cooks said they've always paid their $550 a month rent, but Turner insists in receiving cash and stopped providing receipts after the city inspector ordered repairs in January.

Turner declined to answer more questions.

"I don't have to explain anything to you," he said. "No comment."

Cooks said he's unemployed and disabled with constant pain from nerve damage to his feet. He still lives in the house.

"I don't know what else to do," he said. "I'm at wit's end."