CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered what it will take to get a man out of jail who is locked up for not fixing up a home.
Cleveland Housing Court Judge Mona Scott issued a ruling Wednesday saying 60-year-old Jeffrey Ivey will be locked up until she approves a “detailed, mitigation plan.”
“Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion to Mitigate shall be held in abeyance for Defendant to file a mitigation plan that specifically details steps towards compliance with his current terms of community control,” the judge stated. “Any such plan must directly correspond to each term of community control modified on August 24, 2022 (listed as (a) through (m) ; and outline how compliance will be achieved with benchmark dates for anticipated compliance and/or proof of completed applications for funding assistance. For the Court to release Defendant with no clear understanding or surety that he will comply with the same Court Orders he consistently disregards, would be counterproductive to the health and safety of the community.”
The judge sentenced Ivey to 90 days in jail. He began serving the sentence on Jan. 30.
Attorney Marcus Sidoti, who represents Ivey, had asked the judge to release Ivey from jail so he can make the repairs on the century old home that has been in his family for years.
The home is located on East Boulevard in Cleveland.
Sidoti says Ivey is making efforts to fix the home, but he has had financial issues. Sidoti also stated that Ivey’s home has been broken into four times and vandals stole windows and copper pipes.
Ivey spoke to the I-Team Thursday by phone from the Cuyahoga County Jail. He said he has been making repairs and plans to finish.
“I’m committed to preserving it and restoring my property,” Ivey said. “Given a chance by the judge to do that, I will do it. I could have not shown up in court and left town. That’s not what I want to do.”
Ivey, his attorney, as well as his close friends, say the longer he remains jailed, the harder it will be for him to earn the money to make the repairs.
Ivey works at a local store and as a freelance photographer.
“He shouldn’t be in jail because he doesn’t have enough money to make these repairs,” said Vanessa Jones, Ivey’s friend. “He is definitely trying.”
Gina Washington, a longtime friend of Ivey’s, questions why violent offenders are often given probation or house arrest, yet Ivey remains jailed on housing violations.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Washington said.
Several Cleveland city council members also questioned why homeowners are thrown in jail but big property owners and slum landlords are not.
“Talk about a Pillsbury doughboy approach to dealing with housing inspections and prosecutions,” said Councilman Mike Polensek. “That’s just what the absentee landlords think. Pillsbury doughboy, you don’t do nothing.”
Ivey said he is thankful for the support he has received. He says he remains committed to fixing the house.
“Bottom line is I’m going to do it,” Ivey said.
Ivey’s friends have started a GoFundMe account to help raise money to make the costly repairs.