Judge orders collection of rent on W. Fifth Ave. property

Rent from a W. Fifth Ave. property in the City of Warren will now be collected by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office as a means to recoup over $7,000 in costs and fees pertaining to unpaid sewer bills.

That’s the result of an order entered by Judge Gregory Hammond following a brief hearing held at the Warren County Courthouse on Thursday.

The City of Warren filed the writ for sequestration against the property located at 609 W. Fifth Ave. in an attempt to collect $7,792.60 in unpaid sewer bills and fees.

County assessment records indicate that the property is owned by Joyce Miles, who represented herself at Thursday’s hearing.

Hammond noted that he could rule on this issue without a hearing but scheduled argument because there are “some unusual things about the case.”

City Solicitor Andrea Stapleford explained that this property has nothing to do with properties the county took ownership of as part of a criminal plea arrangement with Franklyn M. Geiger, who was sentenced to at least 92 months in prison in 2016 on charges, among others, of operating a corrupt organization.

As part of that plea deal, Geiger agreed to forfeit three properties to the county – 13 Madison Ave., 11 Madison Ave. and 414 Laurel St.

Stapleford said that Geiger was named as a party in this action because she had communication with Miles that indicated the properties belong to Geiger.

She further stated that liens had been filed against the property and that the city proceeded with a “rent garnishment” but said the city stopped receiving payments.

Hammond noted that the amount is the result of a judgment entered by a district justice and explained that his order would be that rent will be collected by the sheriff’s office until the judgment is satisfied.

“You won’t receive any rent personally,” Hammond told Miles until the judgment is satisfied.