Neighbors angered after politician`s leaky toilet damages home - New York News

Neighbors angered after politician`s leaky toilet damages home

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

When you're running a state that's flush with problems, a leaky toilet might not seem like a big deal, but for neighbors of one Illinois lawmaker, it's ruining their lives.

For months, it's been raining toilet water inside the Brown family's South Shore condo, yet the state lawmaker who owns the unit above theirs has refused to do anything about it.

Anthony Brown showed us the water damage in his parent's bathroom and in the bedroom where his 80-year-old mother sleeps. Three plastic containers are spread around the bedroom to catch the water from three holes in the ceiling.

"Of course it's toilet water, because right above her bathroom where it initially started, that's where the toilet sits," Anthony Brown explains. "And now it's marching from the bathroom on into her bedroom and it's really disgusting."

His 80-year-old mother, a cancer survivor who uses a wheelchair, and his 84-year-old father have been living like this for weeks because they say the owner of the upstairs unit refuses to fix the problem.

Anthony's frustrated father compares the situation to "living in a barn with no top on."

They're really angry because the owner of the upstairs unit is State Representative Andre Thapedi, a Democrat representing the South Side's 32nd District.

"At first I didn't believe it. I was like, this is unbelievable, a state representative? Come on," Linda Tidwell says. "This is how you represent the people? Is this how you represent your senior citizens."

"I don't care who you are," Anthony's father adds.

Thapedi told FOX 32 by phone that the condo building has had water problems for years and they can't prove it's coming from his unit.

"The assertion that I have been non-responsive is a complete, unadulterated lie," Thapedi says.

But the condo building's property manager says they've called, emailed and left letters under the door, yet the State Rep. has been anything but helpful.

"I spoke to him very briefly, told him what the problem was, that I thought we could fix it for $100," property manager Jack Beeb says. "And he said ‘stay out of my unit. Get an attorney.' He's known for several years of this problem and has yet to take care of it."

So, the water continues to drip and the buckets continue to fill.

Now, Anthony Brown is asking, "If this is the kind of service you get from someone who's elected by the people, what kind of a job is he actually doing?"

After we began digging for this story, Thapedi agreed to allow the property management company into his condo to find the problem. Then late Tuesday, he called from Springfield and abruptly canceled.

It's not the only problem Thapedi faces. County records show the condo is in foreclosure.

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