Attorney General Miller investigating mobile home park - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Attorney General Miller investigating mobile home park

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller was in Iowa City on Monday morning, to meet with residents of a troubled mobile home park.

State, county and local authorities are investigating Regency of Iowa, on accusations of bad business practices, poor water quality, and below-average living conditions.

"This situation needs to change," said Miller, at a media conference on Monday afternoon.

On a brief tour of the park, Miller saw the inside and outside of several mobile homes, and spotted many in a state of disrepair. Miller spoke with one resident about an ongoing payment issue. The resident had receipts showing he'd paid rent on time, but had also received a court summons for non-payment.

"There's some issues concerning whether people made payments and they weren't recorded, and if individuals or the company made off with that money," Miller said.

His office wants to make sure Regency of Iowa and the company that owns it, called the Churchill Group, are not in violation of the state's consumer fraud law. For now, pending evictions have been put on hold.

Alongside Miller's fraud investigation, other agencies are moving forward with their own. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is still looking into complaints of a rotten egg odor and discoloration in the park's drinking water. The Johnson County sheriff and attorney are exploring the possibility of criminal violations. The county public health department is examining possible health and safety hazards, and the county board of supervisors is considering a new ordinance for rental agreements.

"So that there could be rental inspection, or a property maintenance ordinance, where the county would have authority to go in and enforce maintaining the property to a certain level," said Janet Lyness, Johnson County Attorney.

Miller said it's possible the state will file a case against the park's owners, but that realistically, it could take months for the numerous issues to be resolved. His first priority is to clean up the payment system for people living in Regency Park. People in his office have spoken with park owners and their attorneys, and he said they were cooperative in resolving that issue.

We did attempt to contact the Colorado-based Churchill Group, but they had not returned our calls for comment as of Monday evening.

Online Reporter: Brady Smith

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