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Larry Tighe, City Of Wheeling Back in Court

October 16, 2007
WHEELING — Motions to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Wheeling property owner Larry Tighe were heard Monday by Circuit Judge James Mazzone.

Tighe filed suit in May alleging valuable Victorian furniture and other antiques were removed from his 2315 Chapline St. home during a court-ordered cleanup of the property. The city of Wheeling, Vapor-Jet Cleaning Services and the Lee Day Report Center were named as defendants in the suit.

Judge Martin Gaughan had ruled the property was in violation of health codes. The finding allowed the city to hire a private contractor to clean the property at a cost of $26,000. Vapor-Jet Cleaning Services was hired to clean the building, and Gaughan ordered that offenders enrolled at the Lee Day Report Center would assist as a community service project.

As a point of clarification requested by Mazzone, attorney Mark A. Kepple, representing the Lee Day Report Center, confirmed people sent to help clean out the house were offenders who have been sentenced to the center as an alternative to jail.

Kepple asked the court to dismiss the suit due to the fact the offenders were not permitted to enter the Tighe property because they did not have hazardous material clothing and there were safety concerns.

Another reason for dismissal, according to Kepple, is because the Lee Day Report Center is a political subdivision and is immune from prosecution in such cases.

At Monday’s hearing, Tighe outlined a history of events that led up to the suit alleging the valuable items were removed.

Wheeling City Solicitor Rosemary Humway-Warmuth moved for dismissal, arguing issues raised in the suit had been heard more than a year ago in circuit court.

Mazzone said he will review the case and make a decision at a later date.

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