Image from petition filed last week by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office allegedly shows substantial accumulation of roach residue on a door at Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex. | Image from petition
ST. LOUIS — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a petition on Aug. 16 in circuit court over alleged deteriorating conditions in a low-income St. Louis housing complex.
"The residents of the Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex have long been forced to live in intolerable conditions," Hawley wrote in the 41-page petition. "They have faced rodent and pest infestations, substantial accumulation of black mold, significant water damage and numerous other serious issues."
The petition names the St. Louis Housing Authority, which owns the Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex near downtown, and McCormack Baron Management, which manages the property for the housing authority.
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley | Image from attorney general's website
"Despite notice of these conditions and widespread public outrage, defendants have defied Missouri law by refusing to take appropriate remedial action," Hawley said in the petition. "No Missourian should be forced to come home to the conditions that Clinton-Peabody residents face each day."
The petition claims conditions at the complex amount to a "public nuisance" that pose serious health risks and violate the state's Merchandising Practices Act. Alleged conditions were graphically detailed by images in the petition and a video posted to YouTube by the attorney general's office.
The housing authority and the property manager have received notice of the conditions "through both tenant complaints and media stories," but have failed to take appropriate action, said a press release issued by the attorney general's office.
The petition seeks an injunction to force the housing authority and management company to remediate the property.
Hawley, sworn in as attorney general in January 2017, is a Republican currently running for the U.S. Senate seat of incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill. The Senator reportedly visited the Clinton-Peabody Housing Complex in April after reports of mice, backed up sewage and other allegations had prompted an investigation by Hawley's office.