April 23, 2024

Chicago Demands $9.3M in Rodent Tickets From Wilson Properties

In its continuing legal battle against a Chicago property manager, the city is trying to consolidate millions of dollars in rat-related fines against Suzie B. Wilson and her associated real estate companies. 

The city labels them as “extreme scofflaws” due to their accumulated unpaid rat-related tickets, amounting to more than $9.3 million from over 5,100 judgments issued for violations across more than 600 properties since January 2018, the Illinois Answers Project reported

In going to court, the city is looking to solve the debts more efficiently.

Wilson manages companies that have accumulated more than $15 million in tickets for violations, mainly on vacant properties in the South and West sides of Chicago, dating back to 2010. 

The city’s filing alleges that Wilson’s companies “rarely, if ever, do anything at all to maintain these properties.” 

“They are a blight on the communities that must suffer their presence and subject the residents of those communities to dangerous and unhealthy conditions,” the filing states.

When Wilson’s role with the companies was revealed, her name was removed from corporate filings and instead LLC’s in South Dakota were appointed managers — a move which takes advantage of the state’s laws, which do not require disclosing individual company managers. 

The city’s struggle with the property owner extends beyond the violations-related debt. The Chicago Transit Authority is seeking eight Wilson-owned properties for its $3.6 billion Red Line Extension Project, aiming to extend the train line 5.6 miles south to 130th Street, but negotiations have stalled.

The investigation into Chicago’s rat problem prompted Mayor Brandon Johnson to increase the rodent control budget by $1.5 million. This will fund additional rat control crews and salary increases negotiated in a new union contract.

— Ted Glanzer

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