Commissioner accused of blocking court-ordered inspection

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CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — An attorney in southwest Idaho says a highway district commissioner refused to allow a court-ordered inspection of his property after being accused of storing surplus scrap metal on his property.

The Idaho Press-Tribune ( reports that John McEvoy of Caldwell pleaded not guilty to the contempt charge on Thursday. A trial date has been set for February 10.

McEvoy's neighbors have filed a lawsuit against McEvoy alleging that he was illegally storing garbage and vehicles on land zoned for agricultural use. According to the complaint, McEvoy's property contains a few hundred decaying vehicles, more than 1,000 tires, and dismantled tractors and semi-trailers spread across 100 acres.

"It is believed that there are people living in some of these buildings as evidenced by the multiple Port-a-Potties located on (McEvoy's) property," the complaint states.

The lawsuit calls McEvoy's property a "public and private nuisance." It alleges that the property "interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of plaintiffs' lives and enjoyment of property."

Attorney Kevin Dinius, representing the neighbors, says McEvoy called the Canyon County Sheriff's office to stop inspectors from coming onto his property.

A new inspection has been scheduled for December 18, which will be conducted by Dinius.

Third District Judge Bradley Ford urged McEvoy on Thursday to cooperate with his attorney and appear at all future court hearings. He also ordered a Canyon County sheriff's deputy be present during the next inspection.

McEvoy's attorney, Frederick Freeman, did not return The Associated Press' attempt for comment on Friday.

Contempt of court is punishable of up to five days in jail and a $5,000 fine.

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