Tim Brophy Arrested
On May 19 city officials held a press conference at 2648 N. 2nd Street, in front of a boarded up house owned by Tim Brophy, to announce that the well-known landlord had been arrested that morning near his home at North Lake Drive and Silver Spring. He was initially stopped for a traffic violation and driving without a valid driver’s license.
According to Milwaukee Police Department Captain Anna Ruzinski, Mr. Brophy had 26 outstanding warrants for property violations at the time of his arrest.
Jay Unora with the City Attorney’s office reported that as of that date Mr. Brophy had a past due balance with the City of $95,580, and 59 current cases with the Milwaukee Municipal Court.
Tracy Williams, Department of Neighborhood Services Chief Operations Officer, said Mr. Brophy had more than 600 open violations on his more than 90 properties. She added that, after this arrest, “We hope he will begin to maintain his properties.”
Ald. Mike D’Amato, who has many Brophy-owned properties in his district, was most adamant about the problems this landlord has caused. “Mr. Brophy is a criminal,” Ald. D’Amato stressed, “and he has rented to criminals. There have been shootings in and around his properties, and caches of guns and drugs have been found in them.
“One of his houses in the 2900 block of North Weil Street has a raze order against it,” D’Amato continued. “When Mr. Brophy bought the property three years ago, it was perfectly habitable…Mr. Brophy’s properties have wasted huge amounts of the City’s time. He has used the City to manage his properties for him.”
Mayor Tom Barrett made this statement: “I am pleased with the police action taken today. We cannot expect neighborhoods to be strong and safe if these properties are allowed to deteriorate and landlords continue to be neglectful. The City of Milwaukee will continue working with the Milwaukee Police Department and residents to clean up neighborhoods block by block to make the streets safer and improve the quality of life for everyone.”
Capt. Ruzinski added that the MPD is “picking up their efforts” to arrest people who owe large amounts of money to the City. She explained that there is a list of the most egregious offenders, and Mr. Brophy had been on that list.
But money, she added, was secondary. “We need to make our neighborhoods safe. Absentee landlords who skirt the issues [of property violations] are not good for our city.” She made reference to the “broken windows” theory, that run-down buildings and unkempt neighborhoods give the impression that nobody cares, and encourage crime.
Mr. Brophy was released later on May 19, after paying approximately $42,000 in fines directly connected with his outstanding warrants.
Riverwest Currents online edition - June, 2005