Northridge Mall owner fails to appear in court as city inspections report no safety improvements

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Fines are quickly adding up for the owners of Northridge Mall as an update in court Friday, Sept. 2 shows nothing has been done to secure the abandoned building.

An attorney representing the city said the latest inspections show the conditions haven't improved, and if anything have only gotten worse.

"There was no on site security. The fencing that had been put up was taken down in places. The no trespassing signs were removed. The debris was still there, and so there were more openings in the structure," Attorney Theresa Montag said.

Attorney Christopher Kloth did not have a response to Montag's comments in court. He submitted documents to the court ahead of the hearing.

"I am not pleased," Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge William Sosnay said. 

The owner of Black Spruce was expected to be in court Friday, or at least be dialed in remotely, but Sosnay learned hours prior to the hearing that she was camping in Canada and did not have cell service.

"Quite frankly, it sends the wrong message," Sosnay said about her absence.

The judge said he prioritized this case on his own schedule because he believes the matter has gone on for far too long, and said the court will not allow it to continue without resolution.

"I can ensure you that I will do so, not only in a New York minute, but as sure as God made little green apples, I am not going to overlook this," Sosnay said.

The deadline to secure the building was Aug. 19 before daily fines of $2,000 kicked in. As of Friday, it's been two weeks, and the fines have likely accumulated to about $28,000.

"If somebody thinks that those won't be paid or enforced, they're sadly mistaken, because they're dealing with the wrong judge," Sosnay said.

The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 3.

The judge ordered the owner be present. 

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