Downtown building in code violation

Published 12:44 am Thursday, March 5, 2015

Owners of a commercial building across from the Lawrence County Courthouse have until March 23 to correct code violations or face possible fines and an order to be razed.

On Feb. 20 Michael Asebrook of the Lawrence County Building Department wrote to sisters, Carol Jean Destocki, Rosemary Mitchell and Beverly Nance, that the building at 336 Center St., that once housed the law and accounting firms of Destocki and her husband is in violation of the Ohio Building Code.

“The masonry is unsafe and the interior is open to weather,” the letter states. “Structures that are unsafe or are otherwise dangerous to human life shall be deemed a serious hazard. Where a building is found to be a serious hazard, such hazard shall be eliminated or the building shall be vacated and where such building, when vacated, remains a serious hazard, it shall be razed.”

Email newsletter signup

Barricades were erected on the day of Asebrook’s letter because a recent aerial inspection had found a hole in the roof. Yellow tape was put up outside the sidewalks around the building at the corner of South Fourth and Center streets because officials said they were concerned the roof could cause the building to collapse.

In May of last year Destocki, practicing under the name of Carol Jean Hampton, surrendered her law license before she faced a state hearing on alleged ethics violations. Soon after that the businesses there closed.

The owners have 30 days from the date of the letter to comply with the order. They also have the right to appeal the order.

“Failure to comply with this order may result in fines of up to $500 for each day,” the letter states.

The building is appraised at $108,100 with taxes of $1,576.56, which are currently only owed for 2014. Delinquencies have been paid, according to the auditor’s office.

There were no listings for any of the owners in the Ironton phone book. A listing for 2020 S. 10th St., the Hampton family home, and the address on the building department’s letter, was for a phone number that rang as a fax.