JCPD landlord has history of code violations at other properties

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – A Johnson City police officer is getting a few more days to repair more than 90 code violations at one of his rental properties, according to Johnson City Chief Building Official Jim Sullivan.

Code enforcers said they found roach infestations, electrical hazards and more at Michael Butler’s Montgomery Street apartment complex earlier this year. They gave him until March 14 to come into compliance, but Sullivan say now say they won’t re-inspect the property until Monday.

In the meantime, public records reveal a history of problems at other properties owned or co-owned by Butler. Documents obtained through a public records request show code enforcers first started raising issues on Montgomery Street in 2010, initially for an overgrown lot, then several more times after for that problem and others.

Records show Johnson City has opened 27 other cases linked to the Montgomery Street property and seven others, owned or co-owned by Butler, dating back to 2009. Most violations stemmed from junk, trash or debris outside, records revealed.

Properties include homes on Crown Street, E. Myrtle Avenue, E. Fairview Avenue, Grover Street, West Main Street and East Maple Street, according to city records.

Sullivan says all of those prior cases are resolved. Butler told us renters failing to take care of his properties were to blame.

Back on Montgomery Street, he previously blamed the issues on his tenants and manager. In the time since, Butler told us he’s fixed roughly 75% of the problems at the home. Code enforcers say he now has until Monday to finish the rest.

“It does appear that there is progress being made on the property,” Sullivan said. “If Mr. Butler brings the property into compliance, then we’re all happy.”

If all problems are not fixed by Monday, Sullivan says code enforcers will continue their push to label the property unfit for human habitation. A Board of Dwelling Standards and Review hearing is scheduled for April 27, according to Sullivan.

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