Photo Caption: The Pike house at 12 N. College St.
A local landlord is trying to evict an Ohio University fraternity from its house on North College Street.
The owner of the property claims that the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity has violated its lease in various ways that include keeping a dog; causing a lot of damage to the house; having alcohol "and/or other controlled substances" on the premises; letting trash pile up; and lighting fires in the basement.
The eviction action appears to have been triggered at least in part by a police search of the house last month, in which officers allegedly found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
The property company, 8 N. College, LLC, which is owned by major local landlord Demetrios Prokos, filed an eviction/debt collection action last week in Athens County Common Pleas Court, against members of Pi Kappa Alpha, also known as the "Pikes." The frat's house is located at 12 N. College St.
Pi Kappa Alpha member Brian Glodowski, who serves as the organization's risk manager, said the landlord's allegations are "not really fair… He pretty much just out of the blue, decided he wanted to evict us. This is the second time he's tried to evict us, and we definitely plan on fighting it."
In 2001, the fraternity was charged with having hazed a number of new pledges, resulting in five students requiring medical attention for excessive alcohol consumption. The frat ended up pleading no contest to a reduced charge of allowing underage consumption.
OU suspended the Pikes from campus Greek activities for a year based on the incident.
The complaint filed by 8 N. College, LLC, alleges that the fraternity has violated its lease by keeping a dog; damaging and removing smoke detectors, emergency safety lights, emergency exit signs, fire doors and fire extinguishers; damaging walls and ceilings; damaging and "playing with" the house's wiring; breaking a window; damaging a furnace; possessing and consuming alcohol and/or other controlled substances; failing to pick up trash and keep the house clean; and changing locks without providing the landlord a key.
"The defendants have further failed to take responsibility for their actions which have resulted in the plaintiff sustaining thousands of dollars in damages," the suit claims.
It notes that the company filed an eviction action against the fraternity in February in Athens County Municipal Court. The frat filed counterclaims, and moved to have the action transferred to the higher Common Pleas Court.
Meanwhile, the complaint alleges, Athens Police on March 3 executed a search warrant on the fraternity house, and seized "controlled substances" and "paraphernalia."
According to court records, a police officer reported that he saw a woman "fall on several bottles of glass" in front of the Pi Kappa Alpha house, then enter the house.
The officer knocked on the door of the house to check on the woman's condition and safety, the search warrant affidavit states, and when the door was opened, he allegedly "detected the very strong odor of marijuana."
After officers got a search warrant, the document shows, they allegedly confiscated marijuana and/or drug paraphernalia from five rooms in the house.
The eviction action in Common Pleas Court further alleges that the frat and individual members are behind in their rent. Eviction notices have been served on the fraternity, it states, but the members continue to occupy the house.