LIMA — After a heated hearing, the City of Lima Building Board of Appeals unanimously voted to move forward with the demolition of 218 E. Third St. — a property owned by Lima Councilor Derry Glenn.
Purchased by Glenn in 2000 for $9,000, the property has since been abandoned following the shooting death of Tarika Wilson in 2008. At that time, a Lima Police Department officer shot Wilson during a police raid targeting her boyfriend, a suspected drug dealer. The subsequent wrongful death suit filed by the Wilson family resulted in a $2.5 million settlement by the city.
Since that time, the house has sat largely abandoned. City inspectors estimated the repair costs to the interior of the house at $95,000.
“It didn’t matter where you stepped, the floor was spongy,” Assistant Building Administrator Doug Ditto said.
The exterior also had extensive damage. Rot had accumulated in many parts of the building, and water had damaged the foundation. Inspectors even found a used sleeping bag in the former residence, most likely from a squatter who had entered the building through an open door or window.
During the hearing, Glenn pointed to the Wilson incident as one of the primary reasons the property is in such bad condition. Glenn said it took him three years to get over the incident before he could re-enter the house.
“A lot of people don’t know what happened there. I get that question every day. What happened there? I sit there and explain to them what happened there. A police officer killed her in my home,” Glenn said.
Glenn estimated that he had spent a total of $25,000 on the property to try to bring it up to par.
During Glenn’s explanation of Wilson’s story and the role he played in it, Board Member Levi Collins pressed Glenn about the condition of the home.
“You are a legislator in this city on council. You even mention that the place is in bad repair,” Collins said. “Whose fault is it that the house is in disrepair?”
In response, Glenn pressed back asking Collins who originally created the problem.
“The girl’s gone,” Board Member Kim Parks interrupted the heated exchange. “We will not discuss her name again. Because that is a relative of mine. So we’ll leave her out right now. It is relevant, but we’re going to leave her out. Everybody knows in this room what happened. So let’s move on.”
Parks abstained from the board’s vote.
During the hearing, Glenn alleged that the timing of the demolition order coincided with the election year, and that the condition of the property was being used politically by his challenger Cleven Jones. The original demo order was sent to Glenn in March 2019, which he appealed in June.
Glenn defeated Jones this November.
With the decision passed by the board, Glenn will have at least 60 days to decide whether to appeal it in court.
Glenn voiced some intention of creating some sort of safe house or community house out of the property to transform a negative into a positive, but he did not say exactly what his plans will be.
“I’m going to pray about it,” he said.
The entire board packet detailing the property’s condition and the audio of Glenn’s defense can be found at limaohio.com.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.