LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The owner of the condemned Life O’Riley Mobile Home Park in south Lansing has been fined $10,000 by the state’s Manufactured Housing Commission.
At a meeting in Lansing on Wednesday, the commission voted to accept a consent agreement between the state and park owner William Whalen. The agreement comes after Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) filed an administrative complaint against Whalen RE Holdings of Lansing MI LLC in April, shortly after Life O’Riley’s February condemnation.
"All we can do is take action when we have a complaint, and the only actions that we can take were identified by our attorney, and that's to take the license and levy a fine,” said Irvin Poke, director of the Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes, a subsidiary of LARA.
According to documents from the Ingham County Health Department, the park had a lengthy history of health code violations. Email records and other notices from the health department show officials tried for more than a year to work with park officials to resolve the safety and sanitation issues, but officials said a lack of improvement forced them to condemn the property and force more than 200 people out of their homes.
While an annual inspection in 2013 by the state uncovered multiple safety violations, officials say it was the Ingham County’s condemnation order that prompted the administrative complaint by the state. Whalen was given an opportunity to settle, and came to the consent agreement which will force him to pay $10,000 in fines. The agreement also gives him a chance to reopen; he will have two years to bring the park into compliance.
Alternatively, members of the Manufactured Housing Commission could have rejected the agreement, which would have forced Whalen to have a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, the commission could then revoke Whalen’s mobile home park operator’s license, which is currently suspended until the park is repaired.
Whalen said he did not know about Wednesday’s meeting, but is aware of the consent agreement. He declined further comment.
Steve Ramirez, who works for Whalen and manages Life O’Riley, says they are already working on fixing the problems outlined by state and county health officials.