Michigan Officials Fine Aretha Franklin
Bloomfield Township, Mich., officials have fined Aretha Franklin for not removing a tennis court at the site of her Detroit-area home, which burned down in October 2002. The $225 fine issued WednesdayBloomfield Township, Mich., officials have fined Aretha Franklin for not removing a tennis court at the site of her Detroit-area home, which burned down in October 2002. The $225 fine issued Wednesday is the latest in a battle between the singer and township officials over clean-up responsibilities following the fire at her 10,000-square-foot Oakland County home.
Franklin had received three prior citations from townships officials for failing to promptly clean up the debris outside the nearly gutted mansion. Along with demolishing the tennis courts, officials also want her to remove other debris from the lot.
Without a house on the lot, township property should look like country land, "not a vacant lot," Tina Burton, code ordinance enforcement officer, told the Detroit Free Press. Also, once the site is cleared, it must be seeded or sodded, said Burton, noting it's "a mud mess now."
The 61-year-old singer's attorney, David Bennett, said the case "should be over, as far as I'm concerned."
Franklin also issued a statement Wednesday thanking state Attorney General Mike Cox, who said no charges would be filed against Franklin's son. Officials had investigated Edward Franklin, 45, as a suspect in the fire.
The singer, who owns two other homes in Bloomfield Township, was on tour in Houston at the time of the fire that nearly gutted the $1.2 million mansion.
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