Six years after the first citations were issued against Platteville landlord Darrel L. Kallembach, and three years after winning a court case against him, the City of Platteville became the owner of 12 of his properties last week.
The Common Council’s vote to request the deeds on the properties occurred during the consent calendar portion of the April 22 meeting, with no discussion and no dissenting votes.
Then, on Friday, city employees, accompanied by police, entered the properties and placed new locks on the doors.
City Manager Larry Bierke said the city did not take possession of three of Kallembach’s properties — at 1536 County B, 430 S. Chestnut St., and 235 N. Third St. — because of a pending court motion filed by Kallembach’s father, Leonard.
A hearing on Leonard Kallembach’s motion will be held in Dane County Circuit Court in Madison Friday, May 23 at 3:30 p.m. The hearing will be held before Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan, who issued the injunction in favor of the city in 2011.
The Common Council will hold a special meeting May 8 at 4 p.m. beginning with a bus tour of 12 properties, after which the council will meet to “evaluate and discuss” the properties.
Meanwhile, the city is contemplating legal action against Darrel Kallembach after an incident at the Municipal Building Monday afternoon.
“Darrel showed up at city hall [Monday], was very upset to find out that the city and the other buyers had deeds to his property,” said City Attorney Brian McGraw.
Police were called to the Municipal Building at 2:43 p.m., where Kallembach was demanding to see the deeds
to his properties, “screaming at the top of his lungs” according to a witness quoted in a Platteville police report.
According to the police report, earlier Monday afternoon Kallembach told the new owners of one of his properties that “if he had cancer, nothing would stop him from shooting all of the people involved with the situation involving his properties, especially city council [and] city officials.” The report also quotes Kallembach as saying “he has several automatic weapons and 40 round clips,” and that “it is the people you might not expect that are the ones that shoot people.”
Another police report quoted Kallembach as saying he “meant no harm” by the threats and “was just blowing off steam,” and had “no intent of following through with the threat.”
As of Tuesday morning, the city was still deciding what legal action to take against Kallembach.
“We’re taking these threats very seriously,” said McGraw. “It’s impossible for the city not to respond and not to take some kind of action.”
The city was the high bidder on 15 of Kallembach’s 19 city properties at the sheriff’s sale in January 2013. The city bid on the properties using the $366,765.38 in fines and interest accumulated on the more than 100 citations Kallembach was issued for violations of city ordinances between 2008 and 2010.
The city was the high bidder on 420 and 440 Southwest Road, 222 and 230 N. Elm St., 310 W. Gridley Ave., 160 E. Mineral St., 565 Cedar St., 235 N. Third St., 185 Center St., 260 and 430 S. Chestnut St., 85 Water St., 375 Irene St., 255 and 335 Division St., and 1536 County B.
The city originally planned to bid on seven of Kallembach’s properties when the sheriff’s sale was first scheduled in September 2012. Kallembach stopped the sale by declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, the bankruptcy proceeding was canceled when Kallembach failed to file a payment schedule or make the first payment to creditors.
Kallembach’s first citations from the City of Platteville came in January 2008, when he pleaded no contest to five citations for failing to remove furniture from the exterior of a building. From then until July 30, 2010, Kallembach was issued more than 100 citations for allowing occupancy without a valid rental license, allowing occupancy of more than four unrelated persons, and second- and third-offense citations for allowing occupancy without a valid rental license.
The city won a judgment against Kallembach for a total of $309,804.84 in March 2011. In October 2012, Flanagan issued an order prohibiting Kallembach from leasing or renting any of his 21 properties until he obtained a city rental license. Flanagan also ordered Kallembach to provide a copy of all of his existing leases to the city and to have his properties inspected. Kallembach also was ordered to provide notice of violations within 10 days of a citation’s being issued.
An arrest warrant for contempt of court was issued for violating the court order. Kallembach was taken into custody by Platteville police at his property at 440 Southwest Road, and spent more than four months in jail in 2012.
Kallembach claimed in a letter to The Platteville Journal in February 2012 that the city had no authority to cite him “unless my refusal to permit inspections and obtain rental licenses resulted in substantial interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life, health, or safety of others.” Kallembach’s claim was based on a 1981 state Supreme Court decision that defined a public nuisance as “an unreasonable activity or use of property that interferes substantially with the comfortable enjoyment of life, health, or safety of others.”