Newark police officer accused of being a slumlord
Newark police officer Manual Souta has a second job as a landlord, but is now accused of being a slumlord because of the deplorable conditions his tenants claim to have been living in.
Spokeswoman for the city of Newark Esmerlda Diaz Cameron says Souto must go to court for failure to provide water for his tenants, but according to residents of his 13th Avenue apartments, water isn't their only problem.
About 40 families live in the six buildings owned by Souto and two of those buildings were evacuated last Thursday after raw sewage was found in the basement. Resident say last winter, a man froze to death in one of the buildings because he didn't have heat.
Many of the families who have had to leave their homes are now staying at a YMCA, while others say they're dealing with more problems, including fallen walls, stairs that are in pieces and waking up to find the gas or water is turned off.
According to Souto's lawyer, the property is in foreclosure and the tenants are behind in rent. Tenants say there was a mutual agreement among them not to pay rent because they didn't have hot water.