By PAMELA G. DEMPSEY/C-U Citizen Access
An extradition hearing is scheduled this week for one of the two local landlords who have managed the Cherry Orchard Village housing complex located between Rantoul and Thomasboro.
Bernard Ramos was arrested by District of Columbia police April 10 on two civil contempt warrants issued by Champaign County last year.
Ramos and his father, Eduardo Ramos, were sought by police after they failed to appear at hearings in connection with a broken septic system at the Cherry Orchard property. The complex typically houses migrant workers in the summer. Last April, the Ramoses were fined more than $54,000 for failing to legally connect and repair the septic system and were ordered to close down the property.
Last week, Bernard Ramos refused extradition and was released on a $5,000 cash bond. He is due back in a D.C. court Wednesday. If extradition is granted, Bernard Ramos would be held in jail until he can be transported back to Illinois.
Champaign County Assistant State's Attorney Joel Fletcher said that the county continues to seek better security of the property. He said there is evidence of ongoing activity there.
At a hearing last month following his arrest in February, a Champaign County judge gave Eduardo Ramos permission to return to Washington for medical care. Thursday's hearing was continued until June.
In March, county health officials investigated reports of people living on the property and removing boards from windows on one of the buildings. Health officials replaced the boards and posted a more-permanent sign warning people away.
"Our main goal is that nobody lives in the property until the septic is fixed," said Julie Pryde, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District administrator.