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Arrest warrant issued for father-son landlord team

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess/A Champaign County judge issued two warrants Thursday for a father-son landlord team who have failed to comply with court orders to empty out an apartment complex in Champaign County.

Judge John Kennedy issued a civil contempt warrant and a criminal contempt warrant for both Bernard Ramos and his father, Eduardo. The arrest warrants each include a $10,000 bond.  If arrested, the judge requires that the Ramoses post the full amount -  a total of $20,000 each - rather than the typical 10 percent before they can be released.

Last month, the Ramoses were fined more than $54,000 in a three-and-a-half-year-old public health department case at Cherry Orchard Apartments. The Ramoses were accused of failing to legally connect sewer and septic systems for six out of their eight apartment buildings on the property. The apartment complex has traditionally housed many migrant workers.



The Champaign County Public Health Department also sought to stop the Ramoses from renting out the property until the septic system could be legally fixed.

The pair was ordered to pay the fine within six months and vacate the complex immediately, which lies between Thomasboro and Rantoul.

Bernard Ramos has yet to return a call seeking comment for this story.

A hearing on the case was scheduled for Thursday after public health inspectors noted tenants still living on the property.
A summons for the Ramoses could not be served as the two were not found. 

Assistant State’s Attorney Joel Fletcher told the judge the Ramoses reported that they were in Texas and would not be at Thursday’s hearing. 

Julie Pryde, director of the Champaign County Public Health Department, said a neighbor of Cherry Orchard called earlier this week and reported that tenants were moving from one building to another on the east side of the complex. The building they were moving into lacks electrical service as confirmed by inspectors in October.

“I’m definitely happy that the state’s attorney’s office is moving forward,” Pryde said after the hearing Thursday.

Pryde said inspectors have noted at least 10 cars on the property, indicators that the complex remains occupied.

She said inspectors would continue to observe the situation, but assistance for the tenants who need help moving is being handled by social service agencies such as the Salvation Army. 

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