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Third complaint filed against Councilwoman Jan Fisk

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A third complaint was filed Aug. 5 to City Council and the mayor against Councilwoman Jan Fisk regarding land owned by Fisk Properties LLC and unpaid property taxes.

The complaint, filed by Linda Simkins, states a property at the 700 block of West Katella Street was delinquent in payment of property taxes for four and a half months in 2015 and five months in 2016.

Springfield Business Journal obtained a copy of the filed complaint and secondary documentation from Simkins.

A $302 charge for nuisance abatement – a written notice from the city to address cited issues – at the Katella property was certified by the Greene County recorder of deeds on June 14, according to county documents.

Other properties, jointly owned by Jan, her husband Howard and their son Barrett, at 320 E. Locust St. and 1539 N. Jefferson Ave., were delinquent in paid taxes for more than a year each between 2014 and 2016 and a year in 2017, according to the complaint. Simkins’ complaint alleges taxes for 2018 at the Locust and Jefferson properties have yet to be paid.

A Greene County real estate tax statement attached to the complaint identifies $843 owed on the Locust Street property for the 2018 tax year.

The statements showed another property, on Meadowmere Street, owing $1,099 for the 2015 tax year and $1,130 owed for the 2016 tax year.

Simkins’ complaint also alleges Jan Fisk failed to register with Building Development Services per city ordinance for three rental properties on Jefferson, Meadowmere and Luster Avenue.

Fisk, a councilwoman since 2012 and co-owner of J. Howard Fisk Limousines Inc., could not be reached for comment by press time. She’s represented in the case by Bryan Fisher, a partner at Neale & Newman LLP.

“The reality is these complaints are based on conjecture, misinformation and misunderstanding,” Fisher said. “They really reflect one person’s unwillingness to accept that almost 70% of voters elected Jan Fisk.”

In response to the unpaid property taxes, Fisher said the Jefferson Avenue home is solely owned by Barrett.

“They have no legal ownership in the home and haven’t for years,” Fisher said of Howard and Jan Fisk.

The complaint also alleges a violation of weeds over a foot tall at the West Katella property after it was inspected and found in violation May 14.

City Council on June 3 passed an ordinance limiting the height of weeds to 12 inches on residential properties. The violation received by Building Development Services on July 13 lists Fisk Properties LLC as the owner of the Katella property.

Springfield City Attorney Rhonda Lewsader said the city has hired an outside council.

“I’m sure the city will do its due diligence,” Fisher said.

Simkins filed an earlier complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission against Fisk in November 2018 for alleged failures to disclose interest in financial contracts with the city, failure to timely file a personal financial disclosure and filing a false affidavit.

Fisk addressed the initial complaint at the end of the March 25 council meeting, saying she would fully cooperate with the investigation.

A second complaint alleges failure to disclose personal or private interest in legislation regarding Galloway Village blight, a driveway ordinance and a failure to register rental properties.

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