Problem landlord who owes $4M in fines appears before criminal judge

County says landlord dodged fines for 13 years
Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 18:24:50-04

"He can either plead guilty, not guilty or no contest and get a trial date," said a Tampa judge.

Pastor Nunez owes Hillsborough County $4 million in fines. Code enforcement says he's let some of his 40 rental homes fall into disrepair.

"Let them put me in jail --- that's what I'd like them to do," said Nunez.

That's what the 73-year-old told us last week.

It's now possible he could go to jail because the Hillsborough County Code Enforcement is changing its tactics.

Code Officers are now sending egregious code violators before a criminal judge to face charges instead of a code board.

"Why don't you kill me here too and her? Both! I'm sorry," Nunez said to the judge.

"I don't appreciate your mouth. You're in a courtroom and you respect this court or we're going to have a contempt hearing, sir. You will not mouth off to me," the judge retorted.

Nunez lost his temper with the judge today in the Tampa courtroom. Still he was given 30 days grace to hire a private attorney. He will return to court in October.

"Ultimately, on these cases we want compliance-- that's what we need. The neighbors around Mr. Nunez and his properties desire his compliance," said Code Enforcement Executive Manager John Page.