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Criminal summonses issued against owner of Essex Village community

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 12:48:46-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County Deputy Manager Doug Middleton told the Henrico Board of Supervisors (BOS) Tuesday night problems persisted at Essex Village, the low-income housing complex that has been the subject of an on-going CBS 6 investigation.

Middleton announced that for the first time, the county had issued 11 criminal summonses against the owners.

"Up to this point we continue with doing maintenance that in our opinion is sub-par," Middleton said.

Middleton briefed the BOS about the ongoing issues and even showed them CBS 6’s original story about the problems at Essex Village.

CBS 6 Problem Solver investigator Melissa Hipolit visited the property again on Tuesday and found many residents who were still having issues getting management to fix their problems.

"You see when I step?  It's a whole puddle, that's how bad it is," Jai Bryant said.

Water is flowing down Bryant's wall and collecting in the carpet below.

She blamed the air conditioner for the leak, which goes from her living room to a bedroom.

"I reported it. I called up there to the rental office, and they all they said was they was going to send someone out that was the end of the conversation.  I haven't heard from them," Bryant said.

We've heard stories like Bryant's for months from people who live at Essex Village.

"It shouldn't have to take for someone to call the news for you guys to fix what you're supposed to fix," Bryant said.

Jai Bryant

Back in April, we highlighted the problems in a CBS 6 investigation after Henrico County issues 140 code violations at the property.

At the time, the owner Greg Pearlman told us they had maintained the property well, and in the past couple of months things had not been up to their standards.

He promised residents would see major changes by the beginning of May, and some residents said improvements are happening.

"The sink in here is brand new, the shower wall is brand new, the tile, they put tile all through the house," one woman who did not want to be identified said while showing us the improvements.

"How did you get them to finally come in here and do work?"  Hipolit asked.

"Ummm... I called you," the woman responded.

After hearing Middleton's presentation, Henrico Board of Supervisors Chair Patricia O'Bannon said it was time for the board to take action and set up meetings with folks in Washington.

"As much as we've tried, and as hard as we've worked, I am absolutely convinced that it is going to take a continued consistent pressure from the community to see the kinds of changes we want to see there, and that is exactly what we're planning to do," Middleton said.

Doug Middleton

Middleton said he's received calls from three different people interested in buying Essex Village.

He said two of them had spoken with Greg Pearlman.

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