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The apartment building at 1411 Division St. in Baltimore, owned by House candidate Hasan M. ‘Jay’ Jalisi, has been cited for violations related to lead paint hazards. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Candidate faces fines for building violations

Jalisi cited for problems in apartments he owns

A Democratic candidate for House of Delegates in Baltimore County faces tens of thousands in unpaid fines related to lead paint hazards at a Baltimore city property.

Hasan M. “Jay” Jalisi faces $15,000 in fines related to at least two apartments in a building at 1411 Division Street in Baltimore. Those fines could increase to as much as $100,000 as penalties continue to accrue on the violations documented by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Jalisi did not respond to a request for an interview regarding the outstanding citations and fines. He also did not respond to the complaints that the state agency attempted to serve on him nearly a year ago.

Jalisi, a former physician who owns health care, trading and property management companies, is one of three Democrats vying for three seats, against one Republican, in the 10th District in Baltimore County.

In an interview earlier this month, Jalisi said he now is primarily in the property management business and owns HMJ Management as well as HMJ Asset Management, which bills itself as a company that manages properties for third-party clients.

The Maryland Department of the Environment attempted to serve the two violations twice on Jalisi using the Brooklandville post office box address for his company. The post office box is less than a mile away from a home Jalisi owns with his wife that political opponents claim he still lives in even though it is in another district from the one Jalisi seeks to represent, a claim he has vigorously disputed.

Ultimately, the agency had to resort to serving the citations through the state Department of Assessments and Taxation.

“Because the company did not respond to the complaint — and did not request a hearing — the order portion of the complaint is final,” said Jay Apperson, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Jalisi, through his company HMJ 1411 Division Street LLC, in 2013 bought the building, which includes 56 rental units, according to state records.

Shortly after Jalisi purchased the Division Street property, two tenants at the building filed complaints with the state related to peeling, chipping and flaking pain in the building that was constructed prior to 1950, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

State inspectors wrote that they documented “defected paint” in the occupied apartments and that Jalisi had failed to obtain required risk reduction certificates for the property.

“(Jalisi’s) failure to maintain defendant’s affected units in compliance with the applicable risk reduction standard creates a potential danger to persons-at-risk,” according to the administrative complaint filed in December 2013.

Those complaints resulted in an administrative complaint, order and penalty that included an initial $15,000 fine as well as an order to remediate the property and have it inspected. Because Jalisi failed to request a hearing, the order became effective 30 days after it was issued.

The order also carries a provision allowing for the agency to assess additional penalties of $500 per violation per day to a maximum of $100,000.

Apperson said the state has not yet moved to obtain a default ruling on Jalisi for the original $15,000 fine “but expects to shortly.” He added that the state could also seek additional penalties but would have to do so in a separate or amended complaint.

In a separate action, an inspector from the Maryland Department of the Environment cited Jalisi and his company for work violations after finding “paint chips and construction debris all over the floor and fixtures” within a third unit.

The department offered Jalisi an attempt to settle the matter for $500 and “correction of all the above referenced violations” in the Dec. 13, 2013, notice of violation. The maximum penalty for the violation is $25,000, according to Apperson. That fine has also not been paid, Apperson said.

The property has also been the subject of July 2013 video posted on YouTube by former tenants that purports to show the conditions at the apartment building at the time.

Jalisi in recent weeks has been the subject of court filings challenging his residency. He also entered into an agreement to pay a $2,500 fine after being charged with writing 28 checks on behalf of his campaign by the Maryland Office of the State Prosecutor. State law prohibits candidates from making such disbursements.

Jalisi has filed a defamation and breach of contract lawsuit against three former employees of his campaign. The candidate is seeking $100,000 in compensatory and $100,000 in punitive damages from three men he claims distributed false and defamatory information about him in a video posted on YouTube and that the men released confidential information pertaining to the campaign in violation of a signed non-disclosure agreement.