Man says he got $1,000 ticket for cleaning up Detroit lot - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man says he got $1,000 ticket for cleaning up Detroit lot

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John Brown holds up a ticket he says he received for cleaning up a lot.  (Credit: WJBK) John Brown holds up a ticket he says he received for cleaning up a lot. (Credit: WJBK)

A man says he received a hefty ticket days after he cleaned up and had trashed hauled away from a vacant lot owned by the City of Detroit.

"The city didn't take into consideration the fact that I cleaned up their mess," said John Brown.

Blight in Detroit is nothing new.  We've heard city officials say residents should share in responsibility for cleaning up the city, but it seems in Detroit doing the right thing has its price.

"I'm trying to do a good thing for our neighborhood.  I'm trying to clean up the lot, but they're going to fine me and ticket me $1,000 for cleaning up their trash.  It makes no sense," Brown said.

He owns the lot next door, but took on the cleaning project because his elderly neighbors said the high brush became a breeding ground for crime.

"They were engaging in using of drugs, sitting back there drinking.  I even found some condoms back there," Brown remarked.

Brown said he went back and forth with the city until he decided to do it himself.

"Here's my receipt showing I paid a contractor $900 to take the trash away."

However, five days later, the city slapped him with a ticket.

"$1,000 for city trash, city debris taken off of a city lot that they are responsible for cleaning up and told me I'd have my day in court."

"I feel we all have to pitch in and do our part.  This is our community, our neighborhood, and unless we unite, it's just going to continue to fall apart.  But now I see what the city employees are talking about," said Brown.  "City hall doesn't seem to give a damn about the community."

Brown said he is ready for his day in court.

We did reach out to the mayor's office for comment.  No one would speak specifically about Brown's case, but a representative did tell us he would look into it.

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