PRESS RELEASE, 9/7/2006

Consent Decree forces reformation of the Metropole Apartment Building

New security measures will soon be implemented at the Metropole Apartments, located at 609 Walnut Street. On August 28, 2006, a consent decree was signed by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Ralph E. Winkler, the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office and the owners and operators of the Metropole Apartment Building (609 Walnut Limited Partnership and Show Management Corporation).

 

This historic agreement stemmed from a July 14, 2006 raid of the building by the Cincinnati Police Department. The raid resulted in nine arrests for drug trafficking along with the confiscation of illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, and two firearms. Parties were able to successfully negotiate this resolution and develop a new security plan for the building in order to avoid protracted litigation due to a civil nuisance action filed by this office.

Civil nuisance actions have been utilized in the past by prosecutors to close book stores that sold obscene materials and also to shut down drug houses and bars. It was this type of legal of action that closed the Mount Airy Motel, a hangout for drug dealers and prostitutes. The motel was torn down and the property is now a park in Green Township.

The new security plan aims to improve the building for residents and the surrounding area for businesses. The 15 item plan includes renovations to the building including the lobby, installing security cameras, the hiring of an off-duty Cincinnati Police Officer, limiting access to the building to residents and approved visitors, and the eviction of tenants convicted of various criminal offenses.

Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher, Jr. praised the combined efforts of both offices, “This is a classic example of cooperation between the Cincinnati Police Department and the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office, which will improve the quality of life for all citizens in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters added, “It is our intention to aggressively use the civil nuisance statutes when law enforcement notifies us of continuing problems with particular properties. The Metropole was not the first, and it won’t be the last.”