West Juneau sewage case dropped by CBJ

Charges have been dropped against West Juneau resident accused of letting his home become unsafe or unfit for human occupancy, averting a trial that had been scheduled for this week.

Ronald W. Hohman, 71, was initially charged with three counts of violating CBJ code requiring the use of public sewers and three charges of using for human occupancy a building that is considered a public nuisance. Three of the charges were dropped in March and the other three in April. The case is now closed.

Hohman owns a home at 3101 Nowell Avenue in West Juneau.

In January, Juneau police officers allegedly found sewage coming up through the garage drain and flowing out of the driveway and into the street. That’s even after the CBJ reported disconnecting his sewer sevice. Neighbors reported that Hohman was still living in the home even though it allegedly had been condemned. The Juneau Police Department served notice on Hohman last October that his home had been declared a public nuisance and it was closed to occupancy.

As the case made its way through Juneau District Court this spring. Hohman was actually barred from his own house except to make repairs between 9 am and 5 pm.

A listed number for Hohman no longer works, while his attorney Deborah Holbrook did not return calls seeking comment or answers to questions about the end to the case. But she had said earlier that public works crews mistakenly shut off the wrong part of the sewer service. They disconnected a line that Hohman shared with neighbor that fed into the main sewer. She believes that it was the neighbor’s blocked sewage that backed up in Hohman’s garage and that her client had been repairing his home.

The city, in part, was motivated by alleged unpaid utility bills. But Holbrook said it all started with Hohman’s tenants skipping out of paying the sewer bill. She says her client has already been jailed twice in the last few months.

Requests for comment by CBJ Law Department were not returned in time for this story.