In July, 2004, Shane DeSimone bought sixteen pieces of heavily mortgaged Portsmouth houses from Home Federal Savings and Loan, a Kentucky bank, for about $440,000 dollars. Three of the properties, 1701, 1703, and 1709 Jackson Street (not shown here), were renovated into the Fork and Finger Restaurant, which he is the owner of. But most of the houses, including those shown below, were ramshackle and in the seven years since then have only gotten worse. The first house below, at 318 2nd Street, now boarded up, was a crack house for several years. The last house below, at 1525 Jackson, may still have tenants, with children, judging by a light inside and the battered playthings surrounding it. On September 27, 2011, four months after Home Federal Savings and Loan took DeSimone to court, he sold it to Hatcher for $10,000, well below what the county auditor had it valued at. Hatcher may be doing what homeowners in the John St. area suspected him doing there—letting houses go to hell as a way of depressing property values so he can buy them for a song. DeSimone sued then mayor Murray for saying she thought he bought these properties to launder drug money. He claimed she defamed him, making it harder to achieve one of his ambitions: to be mayor of Portsmouth! Why did he buy these properties? Whatever the reason, he is now bankrupt and owes Home Federal about a half million dollars. His properties will be auctioned off at the County Courthouse, beginning at 1 PM, Wednesday, December 21.
You can see the County Court docket on his bankruptcy by clicking here.