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Former Council candidate arraigned

Former Common Council candidate Shirley A. Nicholas was arraigned in city Housing Court Thursday on six building code violation charges filed against her during the fall campaign.

The Building Inspection Department cited Nicholas on Oct. 19, between her victory in the Republican primary for 1st Ward alderman and her defeat in the general election by Council President Richelle J. Pasceri.

Chief Building Inspector Jason Dool said at the time that Mayor Michael W. Tucker gave him a letter with an illegible signature complaining about the state of Nicholas' Mill Street home.

During the campaign, Nicholas accused Tucker and Pasceri of "lies and dirty politics" over the issue.

Nicholas, 74, was accompanied in court by some of her political supporters, including defeated Democratic mayoral candidate Michael J. Pillot.

Nicholas told Judge Thomas M. DiMillo that she would have most of the violations repaired by her next court date, Jan. 19.

She said a crack in the block structure in the front of the house would have to wait until spring.

The other charges were a sanitation count for having tires on the front lawn; a roofing violation for having a tarp covering part of the roof; a front-yard parking violation; a count of having inoperable vehicles parked on the lawn; and a deteriorated south side porch overhang.

Dool said in court that Nicholas had been cited in 2008 for similar trash and vehicle violations.

DiMillo told Nicholas that if she is convicted of not taking care of the problems, the maximum penalty is a fine of $1,000 per day of violation or a year in jail.

"We got all the materials for the south porch, but we've got to move a vehicle. We've got a neighbor helping us," said Nicholas, who lives in the home with her 73-year-old husband, Richard.

After court, Nicholas said there are three vehicles on the lawn, a truck and two cars. She said two of the vehicles are unregistered.

As for the tires, she said, "They're brand new. They're sitting where you can't see them unless you look real hard."

Nicholas told DiMillo, "I'm representing myself. I can't afford an attorney."