LIMA, Ohio – An Ohio man who claimed that his American Indian ancestry makes him exempt from city nuisance laws has been ordered to clean up two homes that have fallen into disrepair.
A judge told William Bowersock on Thursday that he has 30 days to take care of the properties in Lima (LY'-muh).
The judge rejected Bowersock's argument that he had seceded from the local government and formed his own Indian reservation, thereby making him exempt from the city's property code.
Bowersock says he thinks the city is singling him out and using selective enforcement of property codes to harass him.
Judge Richard Warren said city officials have given Bowersock years to address the nuisance problem and that the rights of the city and Bowersock's neighbors must be protected.