DETROIT (WJBK) - It has been an eyesore for years, but Michigan’s Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor says his Detroit property is up to par.
The Detroit Land Bank Authority gave Garlin Gilchrist until Monday to spruce up the blighted apartment building and to make it secure.
FOX 2 tried to speak with Garlin Gilchrist about what happened and why he should still be considered a strong candidate for lieutenant governor. He did everything he could to avoid our questions.
FOX 2: "Could I ask you a few questions beforehand about the house?"
FOX 2 caught up with Democratic Lt. governor hopeful as he walked in to speak at a Detroit church. And Garlin Gilchrist II did what he could to dodge our request.
FOX 2: "We would like to ask you some questions about why you didn't pay the taxes and let the house go."
The latest candidate controversy surrounds a Detroit property on Marston that Gilchrist bought for $27,000 back in 2016.
Gilchrist neglected the property and the Detroit Land Bank, which had warned Gilchrist about the conditions. It gave him until Monday at 5 p.m. to clean up the blight and secure the structure.
In a statement Gilchrist claimed he couldn't afford to finish fixing it up, and because he has been pursuing an elected office, he was unable to secure a loan to complete the renovations.
But apparently he didn't have the funds to pay the property taxes, either. Only on Monday he paid his $768 tax bill that was past due two months. FOX 2 waited to speak to Gilchrist after the event -
FOX 2: "Can we have a couple minutes of your time Mr. Gilchrist?"
But he wasn't interested in that either.
FOX 2: "The people have a right to know what exactly happened with the house and the property taxes."
"We sent our statements to you all," said a political aide.
"Can you just tell me why you let the house why you let the house go to that point and why the property taxes weren't paid?"
A couple of hours after we tried to speak to Gilchrist - Gretchen Whitmer's team alerted us they tweeted out a controlled message from the candidate.
"We hit some bumps along the road on a construction project," Gilchrist said in a Twitter video. "We made some honest oversights and that is all fixed now. We are confident that not only are the taxes paid up to speed, not only have the land bank’s needs been satisfied, but also we are close to finding financing to bring this project forward and make it be a positive contribution to the north end neighborhood to the 200 block of Marsten and we are excited about that. Because we are excited to be part of the future of the city of Detroit in Michigan."
In a previous statement before the video, Gilchrist called it an attack by Bill Schuette who is trailing in the polls and they assure us the Detroit Land Bank has been sent all the proper documentation and they are now in compliance.
Wanted to take a couple minutes to talk about what’s going on with my construction project in the North End neighborhood in Detroit. pic.twitter.com/2EkDeCVP7L— Garlin Gilchrist II (@garlin) October 16, 2018