E. Price Hill man remains in jail for hoarding conditions

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Hamilton County judge ordered an East Price Hill man to remain in jail another week because cluttered and hazardous conditions at his home have not been completely cleaned up.

John Clements appeared in court Tuesday morning. City and county inspectors have cited Clements for multiple fire and health code violations in years past. Judge Russell Mock said the house needs to be 100 percent compliant before Clements would be released. On Tuesday, officials told the judge the house is currently 90 percent compliant.

Late last month Clements was sentenced to 180 days in jail after he violated his probation.

Clements' son, Joseph Fanning, who also lives at the home in the 1600 block of Atson Lane, said he's been working to clean up the property.  The family was featured in an episode of the TLC program, Hoarding: Buried Alive, that aired last month. The episode was shot in November 2013.  Judge Mock said the family was uncooperative with the show's counselor and clean-up crew.

FOX19 spoke exclusively with Fanning after Tuesday's court hearing. He told FOX19 he was disappointed his father was not released.

"I'm gonna (sic) go home and finish the house and get my Dad out of jail this week," Fanning said.

Clements is due back in court March 18.

Fanning told FOX19 he and his father aren't hoarders, but rather "scrapers," who collect items to be sold for profit to scrap yards. Mock said neighbors have complained for years about the conditions at the house.

Hamilton County Public Health said last year there were 22 confirmed cases of hoarding in the county. Mock, who's been the Hamilton County housing court judge for more than eight years, said while they account for a relatively small percentage of the housing cases, they are often the most difficult.

Mock said defendants are often dealing with mental health issues, including obsessive-compulsive disorder.  He said the court works with health and fire inspectors and mental health professionals to get the homeowners the help they need.

"Jail time is a last resort," he said.

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