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Code dispute turns ugly in Maplewood

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer under Businesses in hot water, Civil liberties Updated: July 6, 2010 - 10:23 AM

 

Patricia Gearin and the smashed door (Photo by Elizabeth Flores)

Patricia Gearin and the smashed door (Photo by Elizabeth Flores)

 

My story Monday about Patricia Gearin's legal battle with the city of Maplewood was my introduction to the stormy politics of the first-ring St. Paul suburb. Three years ago, a city council member predicted Gearin's business would bring 300 jobs to Maplewood - now Gearin is on the verge of losing her building to her foreclosure, after a three year dispute with the city over fire code, building standard and zoning issues that escalated into a police raid in February 2008. Whistleblower first became aware of the dispute from a ruling by an administrative law judge in May that upheld the city's decision to stop Gearin's business, Wipers Recycling LLC,  from operating the $150,000 shoe grinder. The dispute is the only thing grinding on at this point, but Whistleblower will report on the resolution, whenever that happens.

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