Yesterday I went to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office to secure an order for the police to remove the seal from the apartment where my kids’ mother had died. The order, and a notarized power of attorney from my son, who is authorized to access the apartment, authorized me to enter the apartment.
I advised Horizon Realty Group that I was going to the apartment. I was met at 525 W. Oakdale by Jeff Michael, who identified himself as an owner, and Grisette, the building’s supervisor. Florance, the on-site manager, joined in later. Young Michael appeared to me to be an owner of the princeling stamp rather than a principal. He came across as a true lightweight.
I’d just spent well over an hour with a doctor from the Medical Examiner’s office. He gave me his unqualified opinion that there was no way my kids’ mother was alive at the time Florance told me she cheerfully gave Florance a hug the night before we discovered her body. Florance had placed this encounter at an earlier time when talking to Chicago Police Department detectives, according to the Medical Examiner’s notes. Florance was either a flat-out liar (my take) or too addled to tell time — in either event disqualified to manage property.
I informed Jeff Michael of these facts and asked him to place them in the light of the ongoing concerns I’d expressed about his on-site manager. Michael parroted the Horizon Realty Group party line: “I don’t like your tone.” No questions; no fact-finding; no concern; just a simple demand that he be addressed in a more reverential manner.
A police officer responded to my call to 311 to remove the Medical Examiner’s seal from the apartment. He informed me that Horizon had called the police the previous day and reported that I was at the building and had made threats. I informed him that I’d been to the building to check mail, did not proceed past the front lobby, and talked to no one there.
The officer informed the Horizon representatives that the Medical Examiner’s order entitled me to access. Period. Michael wasn’t satisfied with that. The officer placed a number of calls. Another officer came on the scene. Horizon was directed to provide me the access I was legally entitled to. They reluctantly did.
You would think that a professional management company would know their dead tenants’ representatives rights and wouldn’t interfere with them, or at the very least would contact an attorney for advice, or failing even that would take direction from a Chicago police officer, would be able to read and understand the clear language of the Medical Examiner’s order. You’d be right. That’s what a responsible management company would do.
You would think that the stark reality of a tenant’s death might surface some human response. From what I’ve seen, you can’t expect that from Horizon.
I know, and you’ll continue to learn, that Horizon Realty Group is as bad as management gets. If you have any relevant information about Horizon or 525 W. Oakdale, send me an e-mail or call me at 773-868-4770 x 100.