PLATTEVILLE — Darrel L. Kallembach, the Platteville landlord who faces more than $300,000 in fines from the city, is now in the Grant County Jail in Lancaster.
Kallembach, 53, Argyle, was taken into custody by Platteville police at property he owns at 440 Southwest Road Wednesday morning. He faces four months in jail after he was found in contempt of court for violating a judge’s order issued in Grant County Circuit Court Oct. 31, unless he complies with the order by supplying copies of leases and schedules inspections for 21 properties he owns in Platteville.
According to city records, Kallembach owns properties at 235 Third St.; 222 and 230 Elm St.; 420, 440, 605 and 605½ Southwest Road; 260 and 430 Chestnut St.; 85 Water St.; 390 Pine St.; 375 Irene St.; 255, 335 and 465 Division St.; 565 Cedar St.; 160, 530 and 540 Mineral St.; 310 Gridley Ave.; and 185 Center St.
A legal filing Feb. 23 noted that after the bench warrant was issued Feb. 6, “law enforcement agencies in three counties have been unable to locate or arrest Kallembach.”
“His release would be up to meeting the conditions of the judge’s order,” said City Attorney Brian McGraw.
Kallembach’s first citations from the City of Platteville came in January 2008, when he pleaded no contest to five citations for failing to remove furniture from the exterior of a building. From then until July 30, 2010, Kallembach was issued more than 100 citations for allowing occupancy without a valid rental license, allowing occupancy of more than four unrelated persons, and second- and third-offense citations for allowing occupancy without a valid rental license.
The city won a judgment against Kallembach for a total of $309,804.84 in March 2011.
“Instead of issuing a citation every day, we decided to sue,” said City Manager Larry Bierke. “This particular landlord
does not believe the city has the right to inspect his property.”
Then, on Oct. 31, Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan issued an order prohibiting Kallembach from leasing or renting any of his 21 properties until he obtained a city rental license. Flanagan also ordered Kallembach to provide a copy of all of his existing leases to the city and to have his properties inspected. Kallembach also was ordered to provide notice of violations within 10 days of a citation’s being issued.
Kallembach claimed in a letter to The Platteville Journal in February that the city had no authority to cite him “unless my refusal to permit inspections and obtain rental licenses resulted in substantial interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life, health, or safety of others.” Kallembach’s claim was based on a 1981 state Supreme Court decision that defined a public nuisance as “an unreasonable activity or use of property that interferes substantially with the comfortable enjoyment of life, health, or safety of others.”
“The city’s ordinance requires before one leases property for residential purposes to others you have a rental license,” said McGraw. “If you don’t have a rental license, you haven’t complied with that ordinance.”