Cherry Orchard caretaker arrested in Virginia
URBANA — One of two apartment complex caretakers who have been wanted since they failed to appear in court in May is back in Champaign County after he was arrested last week in Virginia.
Champaign County Assistant State's Attorney Joel Fletcher said Eduardo Ramos was arrested in Virginia on two contempt-of-court warrants and was transferred to Champaign County, where he appeared in court last Friday.
In May, Judge John Kennedy approved separate petitions for civil contempt of court and criminal contempt of court against Eduardo Ramos and his son, Bernard Ramos, the caretakers of Cherry Orchard Village apartments, located between Rantoul and Thomasboro, for failing to follow the judge's orders.
Kennedy ordered during a bench trial that the Ramoses pay fines of $37,900 for unlawful discharge of sewage ($100 a day for 379 days), $16,000 for unlawful rental of non-compliant property ($100 a day for 160 days), $100 for failure to obtain a construction permit and $100 for unlawful repair or alteration of a sewer system.
Kennedy also at that time ordered the apartment complex to be shut down until the sewage problems have been remedied.
Fletcher said the Champaign County sheriff's office served a notice to the Ramoses on April 21, 2011, to have all tenants out of the complex by April 27, 2011.
After Champaign-Urbana Public Health District officials found people still living at Cherry Orchard, Kennedy ordered the Ramoses to appear in court to answer a petition for contempt for failing to vacate the facility.
But neither one appeared in May, leading Kennedy to issue the orders.
After the sheriff's office attempted to serve a summons for the Ramoses to appear in court, the sheriff's office received a voice mail from Bernard Ramos on May 3, 2011, indicating they were both in Texas for the next four weeks.
On Friday, Kennedy dismissed the criminal contempt charge against Eduardo Ramos, scheduled a hearing on his civil contempt charge for March 23 and released him on recognizance.
Fletcher said both contempt charges are still in effect against Bernard Ramos, who remains at large.
"The evidence of Eduardo's contact with the property after the court order was issued is different from the evidence of Bernard's contact with the property after the court order was issued," Fletcher said.