Rental homes connected to Arrington never registered in city's inspection program
Two rental properties owned by the husband of Erie City Council President Sonya Arrington are not registered in the city's rental inspection program, according to records from the City of Erie and Erie County.
ERIE, Pa. - Two rental properties owned by the husband of Erie City Council President Sonya Arrington are not registered in the city's rental inspection program despite the city losing hundreds of thousands of dollars from that program, records show.
Sonya's husband, Steve Arrington, owns or co-owns eight rental properties in the City of Erie, two other parcels of land that do not contain homes, and their home, located at 1743 Glendale Ave., according to the Erie County Assessment Office.
The addresses of the two homes not listed in the program are 1546 Woodlawn Ave. and 1606 Woodlawn Ave., just a few blocks from the Arrington residence. The 1546 Woodlawn Ave. home was purchased Aug. 30, 2017 for a price of $4,800 from Marquette Savings Bank. The 1606 Woodlawn property was purchased in 2006. The sale price was not included on information provided by the assessment office.
The revelation comes the same day Mrs. Arrington was indicted for allegedly using money donated to her non-profit organization, Mothers Against Teen Violence or "MAT-V," for her gambling and personal expenses. Arrington defrauded MAT-V of at least $70,000 from December 2011 to March 2018, according to the indictment. She could face 635 years in prison and up to $7.7 million in fines if convicted.
The rental inspection program has been a controversial topic for city leaders in recent years. Last month, auditors discovered the City of Erie lost more than $300,000 over the last decade through the program, which began in 2007 as a way to ensure public safety inside the city's 13,000-plus rental properties. Auditors blamed the loss partly on landlords who haven't paid the annual $40 rental inspection fee for an inspection every two years.
"It would be useful if we were making money," said Mrs. Arrington told Erie News Now on March 21 following the return of the audit. "But if we're not making money, it's not useful."
Erie News Now checked with the City of Erie's Department of Code Enforcement Thursday afternoon and found that the other six properties Steve Arrington owns are registered with the rental inspection program. The two properties in question were not able to be tracked by Code Enforcement Director Andy Zimmerman Thursday in the rental inspection database, Civic Pulse. Zimmerman declined to comment on why the homes weren't registered.
The county assessment office shows Mrs. Arrington is not a co-signer on the two homes in question but is on some of the registered rental properties.
Arrington has served as Erie City Council president since January and was elected to council in 2015. On March 21, she led the unanimous vote for a nine-month extension of the rental inspection program through the end of 2018.