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Government and Politics

Ohio sues the owners of former hospital in Northeast Ohio
Ohio's aAttorney general and the city of Warren want the decaying St. Joseph's Riverside torn down -- and not on their nickel

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
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In The Region:

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren officials filed a lawsuit today against Euro-American Finance Network, accusing the company of ignoring the condition of the vacant hospital it owns.

The suit says the Florida-based owners of the former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital were required to demolish the property and reimburse the city for associated costs, but failed to do so.

DeWine says similar problems are occurring across the state, with different kinds of buildings.

Hear DeWine talk about his involvement

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He says the owners often are out-of-town speculators who leave communities with the cost of tearing down dilapidated buildings and cleaning up the lots.
“So I set up a unit in my office to help local cities and communities go after these individuals. ... It is unusual, but we’re doing it and we’ll continue to do it across the state.”

Warren Mayor William Franklin says the city has been sending notifications to the owners for years, with no response. 

Franklin talks about a new message:
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“We’re not going to tolerate an absentee landlord who lives in Florida and refuses to ignore the effect his property ... has on our community and our citizens. Hopefully, he gets the message that we’re serious about enforcing our ordinances and making sure that he abates the nuisance that he’s caused.”

The owners of the building, Ljubica Stefanovic and Slavoljub Stefanovic of Euro-American Finance, were not available for interview.

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