UPDATED: Residents of Pleasant Ridge suing Charlestown

Pleasant Ridge residents suing Charlestown

This story has been updated.

Accusations of secret deals and private plans are in front of a judge today. The residents of Pleasant Ridge are taking on the city of Charlestown in court. 

The neighbors argue they are being driven out of their homes illegally.Their attorneys provided documents that they say prove the Mayor and a private developer have been working together for years.

The city maintains the mayor and the developer do not share an agenda. Today the judge will hear both sides of the case in a preliminary injunction hearing.

The neighbors hope this will stop the city from moving forward with their inspection plan, which they say is the first phase to kicking them out of their homes. They claim that they are being driven out based on allegations that their homes have health hazards, which they say is not true.

The hearing is expected to last most of the day. The mayor expected to take the stand at any moment.

UPDATES: This is only a preliminary injunction. The residents of Pleasant Ridge are asking the city to stop their home inspection program until the lawsuit makes its way to court. Residents say that program is the base of the city's plan to illegally drive them out of their homes. 

In front of a judge, Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall defended his attempts to revitalize Pleasant Ridge, a low-income community in the heart of his city. 

"I'm doing what a mayor is supposed to do in a community and that's look for the best for the whole community, and you take on challenges and you try to make the best out of them and be a win-win," Mayor Bob Hall said.

He told the judge he's been working to redevelop the land since he took office in 2000. Hall calls the neighborhood a hot spot for crime and drug use, claiming half of the city's police runs are made to Pleasant Ridge.

But the men and women who live there tell a different story.  

"We're good people. We are really good people in our neighborhood. The neighbor has tried to say that our neighborhood is full of crime. I've lived there for 40 years and have never been bothered by anybody," Says Ellen Keith. 

She says she keeps her home up to code and hasn't yet been fined but believes it's only a matter of time.
 
"There is no health hazard. That's what they have tried to say is that our homes are health hazards. And they are not. They're just very modest homes. We are humble people. We're not striving to be anything but what we are. So we just want to stay in our home," she says. 
 
The judge does not have to make a ruling in this case today. But residents are hopeful they will hear a decision soon, as they say the fines keep building every day. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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