Detroit man fined after cleaning blight in his east side neighborhood

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He says he tried to clean up the mess in his Detroit neighborhood, but the city slapped him with a fine.

Shawn Wakefield is the kind of neighbor you want to have. On Wednesday he and his family are taking care of a neighbor's lawn and last month they cleared out the alley behind their house on Fairmount. It was full of debris left behind by illegal dumpers.

"I asked him, the bulk (pick-up) guy - how much can we put out here," Wakefield said. "He said put as much as you want."

So he did bulk waste which was cleared away twice - then they came home to this: a $500 blight ticket.

"I asked before I did anything and then I get slapped," Wakefield said. "We put it out here thinking that we're doing a good deed, but that good deed turned south so we have got to pay for doing a good deed.

"And I don't think that's fair."

And it's not cheap.

Wakefield was already upset about being fined for cleaning up his east side neighborhood - then he says the city came and mowed a lot across the street and left a trail of garbage behind.

"They just came and cut the grass over there and there's wood and debris and paper over there," Wakefield said.

What Wakefield didn't know is that the Department of Public Works cleans up the city lots after they are cut so the garbage will be cleared away within the next day.

But there's still that issue with the blight ticket. That's Marshall Bullock II from the mayor's office and he says they are waiving the ticket and wants to thank Shawn and his family for cleaning up the neighborhood.

"He did a great deed, cleaned up the alley, did what he thought was in his best interest," said Bullock.

"Hey Terrence - we don't have to pay the $500," Wakefield said.

"Yes!" Terrance said.