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HUD: Sherman Hills management ‘unsatisfactory’

Federal housing agency’s complete report on complex expected in near future

November 14. 2013 12:05AM

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WILKES-BARRE — Management of the Sherman Hills apartment complex has been found “unsatisfactory” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a news release from the federal housing agency.

A full report of HUD’s inspection of the crime-plagued complex is expected to be released in the near future, HUD’s Senior Management Analyst S. Van Williams said Wednesday.

HUD officials visited the complex on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 to complete an on-site Management and Occupancy Review after two girls, 5 and 2 years old, suffered gunshot wounds in Building 328 on Aug. 24. No charges have been filed, however, Luzerne County Assistant District Attorney Brian Coleman said during a court proceeding on Sept. 12 that three men were being investigated.

On Monday 27-year-old Shantique Goodson, of 328 Parkview Circle in Sherman Hills and formerly of Rochester, N.Y., was fatally shot while she was sitting in a Jeep Grand Cherokee near Building 328.

City police on Tuesday charged Kenneth Malik Evans III, 21, of South Sherman Street, Wilkes-Barre, with an open count of criminal homicide in Goodson’s killing.

An autopsy Wednesday by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross showed Goodson died from multiple gunshot wounds. Her death was ruled a homicide by the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office.

HUD officials inspected the general appearance and security, maintenance and operation procedures, financial management and procurement, leasing and occupancy, relations between tenants and management, and general management practices.

Review findings

“Based upon this review, HUD concluded that the management of the property is unsatisfactory and asked the owners to respond to the review’s findings by Nov. 30,” HUD’s news release states. “In addition, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center will conduct a comprehensive inspection of the property to make certain the physical conditions at Sherman Hills meet HUD standards.”

HUD provides rental assistance to 340 households living at Sherman Hills and has a responsibility to work with the owners to make certain the property is well maintained and properly managed, the news release says.

Sherman Hills is managed by Park Management, Inc., of Brooklyn, N.Y. A woman at the corporate office said no one was available for comment on Wednesday.

The city levied a $33,000 fine against the complex on allegations the realty company failed to have 60 apartments at the 344-unit complex inspected before new tenants moved in.

City Mayor Thomas Leighton said Tuesday that Sherman Hills has yet to pay the fine and that owners are appealing the penalty.

The management of the privately owned complex in September notified residents of new regulations regarding visitors and parking, and warned that violators could face eviction. As of Oct. 1, visitors 16 and older must register with the office regardless of their length of stay and must produce a valid identification to be photocopied.

It remains unknown if these visitor regulations were ever implemented and enforced.

Here are a few recent police responses in Sherman Hills:

Sept. 28: David Callahan, 34, of Pittston, was charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was spotted entering the complex through a gap in a fence.

Sept. 26: Police arrested Ryan McGovern, 25, of Poplar Street, Wilkes-Barre, after they found him slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle parked near Building 332 at Sherman Hills. McGovern, who had blood running from his right arm and a spoon on the console next to him — both indicators of heroin use, police said.

Police said they also found a box containing a hypodermic needle and several ripped/empty heroin packets and a bag of pills in the car. They said McGovern admitted using heroin, “but not within the last couple minutes.” He was charged with defiant trespass and three drug charges. While in jail, he was subsequently charged with two counts of robbery from an unrelated incident, court records show.

Sept. 6: Daquan Breland, 23, and Daquan Wright, 19, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were taken into custody in Building 328 wanted in the shooting death of 16-month-old Antiq Hennis in Brooklyn on Sept. 1.

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