On Tuesday, WWAY NewsChannel 3 reported on a lawsuit, involving the Wilmington Housing Authority and Sparks Engineering regarding inspections of the Eastbrook Apartments. On Wednesday, WWAY discovered some further developments. The Wilmington Housing Authority hired Sparks Engineering, owned by city councilman Ron Sparks, to inspect the Eastbrook Apartments in 2005. The housing authority's lawyer now says it was irresponsible for Sparks Engineering to recommended buying the property. WHA lawyer Gary Shipman says Sparks Engineering performed infrared tests on the Eastbrook Apartments that showed moisture in the walls. The housing authority bought the property on Sparks' recommendation. His company performed a second inspection about a year later, in which moisture was once again found. The housing authority claims this moisture led to mold in the apartments. WHA hired another company to perform an inspection; it was after this it was decided the apartments were not safe for residents. Shipman said, “It is our contention in undertaking his inspection and making his recommendations Mr. Sparks was negligent and as a result of that the housing authority purchased property that it should not have purchased. The WHA is suing for the cost of repairs as well as uncollected rent. City Councilman Ron Sparks and lawyers for Sparks Engineering declined to comment on the situation. After the Wilmington Housing Authority inspection determined the apartments were not safe they sent letters to residents telling them they would have to move.
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