Is former county controller Eric S. Kretschman a slum landlord?
That is what newspapers in Washington, D.C., would have you believe.
Kretschman is vice president of a company that owns a handful of apartment complexes in Washington.
An 85-unit building in one of those complexes last month was gutted by a fire. The building had been cited 7,755 times for code violations, according to the Washington Post.
The newspaper suggested that the Kretschman company practices “eviction by neglect,” by allowing buildings to deteriorate to a point where tenants feel compelled to move out. The owner can then sell the property for a better price than was initially paid for it.
Kretschman has denied the allegations, claiming money was spent each year to improve the buildings and that the company had provided “very good housing at a very good price,” according to the Washington Post.Kretschman is quoted in the Washington Post article:
"Company Vice President Eric Kretschman said that NWJ has not violated any laws or mistreated tenants and that he did not recall receiving notices for that many code violations. He said NWJ filed the suit against Reynolds because he did not have permission to enter the building and because the cleanup damaged the property. The suit is pending.For the record, on November 20, 2007,Kretschman was appointed to the Montgomery County Community College board of trustees by Montgomeryshire's own King James III. Lose out on an election (Kretschman was nosed out of the running by West Conshohocken resident and Asst. D.A. Robert Sander), get a cushy appointment by supporting James Rex.
"Nobody is perfect, but I think we do a very good job year after year of improving these buildings," Kretschman said. "We are not the guys forcing people out. We're providing very good housing at a very good price."
I wonder, with his building "acquisition" business, if he gets his financing from Keegan Mortgage?
I'll report more as the story develops.