A 1 p.m. deadline was set today by the City of Stockton for nine businesses to pack up and leave their Miracle Mile location.
It was ordered Wednesday after city officials said the property owner continuously failed to fix code violations in the building that houses all the businesses.
But ABC10 has uncovered the owner has a history of code violations.
Up against a deadline, Brenda Sandigo, owner of Gusty’s Wings, was close to clearing out what’s left of her business.
“Very sad, very devastating, a lot of emotions," Sandigo said.
But ABC10 has discovered Sandigo is not alone.
A trip to the San Joaquin County Recorder’s office revealed a slew of past code violations involving Christopher Bennitt, the owner of the building forced to close on Stockon’s Miracle Mile.
ABC 10 searched through pages and pages of records and found Bennitt has owned numerous properties over the years along with numerous violations.
“I can confirm that our code enforcement section, which is part of the police department, does have other active investigations going on," said city spokesman Connie Cochran.
“That’s what hurts us the most. We have to tell employees about what’s going on right now," said Vito Casciaro, owner of Empresso Coffeehouse.
And then there is the Miracle Mile, where Bennitt signed an agreement with the city giving him 90 days to come up with a plan to fix what are described as dangerous and hazardous code violations.
The city says he didn’t follow thru and owners like Brenda Sandigo were left in the dark, but Bennitt's lawyer said he was never aware of any violations prior to June 7.
"The undisputed facts leave significant questions as to the City’s motive and strategy in requiring the immediate displacement of eight commercial tenants at the property based upon alleged “hazardous and dangerous conditions” that the City claims pose “an immediate threat to the life, limb, health, safety and welfare” and “constitute an emergency,” Anthony Vignolo, Bennitt's lawyer, said in a statement. "In fact, the City has been claiming the existence of the alleged violations for over the past five years and, prior to June 7, 2017, NEVER advised my client or any of his tenants that ANY of the alleged violations constitute any life or safety threat. Indeed, the actions of the City clearly suggest quite the opposite."
“ I had no clue. I had no idea that something like this was going on," Sandigo said.
Bennitt's lawyer said the following in a statement:
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