PALOLO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Palolo man has racked up more than $46,000 in city fines for building and health violations.
Larry Gomes has lived at 1881 Mahana Street for more than six decades and says he's not hurting anybody with his stash of trash and cats in his home. But neighbors say it's a health hazard that needs to be fixed.
"How can people live in that kind of condition? As I've said before, it's unfair to the neighbors," said City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi. "It's a health and safety issue."
Some neighbors said Gomes' house looks like a hurricane hit it. Part of the roof has collapsed and in the back of the house, a section of the wall has given away. Bicycles litter the yard. About a dozen feral and domestic cats live in and around the home and five times as many pigeons go there to roost.
Since 2013, the city has fined Gomes more than $26,000 for a collapsed garage roof that was never fixed. It fined him another $20,000 for not having running water. And Hawaii News Now also learned that the city prosecutor's office is pursuing animal cruelty charges against Gomes for one of his injured cats.
Gomes blames his legal problems on his neighbors who filed the complaints.
"Everybody seems to be picking on me because I'm single or all by myself. Hey, they figure I'm a little guy so let's pick on him," Gomes said. "It's no hazard to me. Nowadays everybody is complaining about everything."
The city said it has filed a lien of Gomes' house. If he doesn't pay the fine or fix up his property, it could foreclose.