Various individuals, including at least one City-County Councilor, have expressed to me their concern that Abduallah does not reside in the Sheffield Avenue residence he claims as his residence as a candidate for the City-County Council and have suggested he in fact resides in another council district. Under Indiana law, a council member is required to reside within the district he represents at least two (2) years prior to taking office. If a councilor moves out of his district during his term in office, he is required to resign his seat. According to Councilor Abduallah’s biographic page on the IndyGov website, his listed address is 1144 Warman Avenue, notwithstanding a telephone book listing in bold print at the 937 N. Sheffield address and that Sheffield address being shown as his address on IndyGov website just days ago. The district finder on the council’s website indicates the Warman Ave. address is located in Councilor Marilyn Pfisterer’s 14th District.
According to the Department of Metropolitan’s online permit database, Abduallah has been attempting to undertake an addition to his 937 N. Sheffield Avenue home and a complete renovation of the home for at least the past year. The construction work on the home, however, has been plagued by problems with contractors and building code violations. DMD inspectors issued a stop work order on November 9, 2006, claiming footers for an addition to the home were poured without an inspection and electrical work was being performed without a permit. Eight days later, city inspectors cited Abduallah for using unlicensed contractors to perform work. Notes from January 1, 2007 indicate one electrical contractor walked off the job, saying he told Abduallah he “needed a permit to include the renovation of the entire house” and not just for the re-wiring work it required. On February 21, 2007, Abduallah’s case was referred to legal for review, noting that a contractor had told DMD “no wiring was done in the addition” and Abduallah had been told “he needed to amend [his] permit to include the renovation of the entire house.”
Still months later, on June 12, 2007, an electrical contractor went into DMD’s office to cancel his permit, stating “he performed no work at this site” and wanted “to legalize the work already done.” The contractor said he was unable to reach an agreement with Abduallah and wanted to cancel his permit. That same day Abduallah was cited for failing to obtain proper permits for work done at his home. Last month, another DMD inspection of Abduallah’s residence noted numerous building code issues with the work performed on the residence.
Aside from the renovations Abduallah has been performing on his home, he has tangled with city inspectors on numerous occasions for a variety of issues. As far back as 2001, the city cited Abduallah for trash on his property. DMD records suggest a tenant was residing in the property at that time. On April 19, 2006, city inspectors opened a new case against Abduallah for an abandoned vehicle in the rear of his residence in an enclosed, fenced area. Another report on June 12, 2007 cited Abduallah for an abandoned automobile described as a “blue car on blocks with flats.” City inspectors repeatedly returned to Abduallah’s property for more than a year, each time taking photographs and noting Abduallah’s failure to remove the abandoned vehicle from his property. On July 27, 2006, he was cited for “trash, high weeds and grass.” Although the matter of the abandoned car was referred for legal action last October, a note suggests it wasn’t referred for prosecution until July 24, 2007.
The neighborhood where Abduallah’s residence is located is dotted with run-down and boarded up homes. When I parked my car across the street from Abduallah’s residence to record the photo you see above, I was interrupted by an angry Abduallah, who came running from a side yard, screaming at me not to take any photographs of his home and demanding to know who I was. Startled by his sudden and angry appearance, I drove off without ever exiting my vehicle to avoid further incident. According to DMD records, his residence being photographed without his permission has been a commonplace occurrence over the past year. I apologize to Councilor Abduallah for not staying to chat with him, but it just didn’t seem like a good idea at the time.
According to the Star’s property tax database, Abduallah’s Wayne Township home had a proposed reassessment of $36,900. He claims an exemption for the property as a residence, reducing the taxable assessed value to $15,700. According to the 2006 property tax records for Abduallah’s property, he had a delinquency in the amount of $535.21 for unpaid taxes when his 2006 tax bill was mailed.
Based upon my observation of Abduallah’s residence and the obvious construction work underway on the home, as well as the voluminous records on file with the DMD, it appears there is some doubt whether Abduallah’s home is currently occupied as a residence. I would also note the DMD records do not show that a certificate of completion and compliance has been filed for the residence, a condition required prior to its occupancy or use as a residence. So if Abduallah is not residing at this location, where is his residence? Is it 1144 Warman Avenue or some other location? More importantly, does he live in the district he was elected to represent? The findings of my investigation should warrant an immediate meeting between Marion Co. Democratic Chairman Mike O’Connor and Councilor Abduallah to get to the bottom of this. If Abduallah is not living in his council district, he is legally obligated to resign from his seat. His name must also be removed from the November election ballot. The people of the district within which I reside demand answers to these questions, Mr. Abduallah and Mr. O’Connor. The people await your responses.