New Castle News

Local News

January 15, 2014

Judge voids sale of house to city

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County Judge J. Craig Cox has voided the sale of a property on New Castle’s North Hill.

In his order, Cox said the purchase of the property at 315 E. Hillcrest Ave. by the city administration was invalid because city council had not approved it.

In fact, council unanimously defeated a resolution approving the purchase Dec. 5 by a 4-0 vote.

Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo bought the property from the Lawrence County repository for $598.50 on Oct. 30. The property was placed in the repository after it failed to be sold by the county for nonpayment of taxes.

The property was the scene of a shooting in October, and the mayor wanted the city to buy it because it was “an irritant for all the people who live up there.”

His plan was to have the house rehabilitated, then sold at market value.

The city petitioned the court to void the sale. Assistant city solicitor Jonathan Miller said that because the property was purchased from the repository, the procedure to void the sale was to petition the court.

Cox conducted a hearing on the matter Jan. 7.

He said in his order that the property will be returned to the county’s repository and may be sold in the future.

County solicitor Thomas W. Leslie said he expects the city will be reimbursed the full amount of the purchase price.

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