Saturday, Mar 24, 2018
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Building owner disputes plea on file


Koray Ergur argues with Judge C. Allen McConnell in Toledo Municipal Housing Court. Mr. Ergur, who owns downtown buildings, is accused of fire code violations.

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The owner of the downtown Nicholas and Spitzer buildings is to appear in court again next week after contesting the recollections of a judge and prosecutor.

The $25,000 bond for Koray Ergur, a California developer, was ordered continued by Judge C. Allen McConnell.

He was held in the Lucas County jail on Friday for failure to obey fire department orders.

RELATED: Audio from today's trial

A dispute over whether Mr. Ergur, who said he would not be hiring an attorney, entered a “no contest” plea on March 12 led the defendant to shout.

“I'm not guilty,” he shouted.

“What are you asking me that question for?” he said to the judge when asked about the plea.

The pretrial hearing took a brief break so that the prosecutor could review the “thick” file.

Once the case was recalled, the prosecutor said he personally recalled the defendant entering the plea.

“That’s a bunch of long talk and a whole bunch of lies,” Mr. Ergur said, then rebutting the claims by providing his own recollection of the March appearance.

“I said, ‘I will not enter any pleas,’ … and then … they tried to bargain and I said, ‘No.’ ”

When Judge McConnell started to say he would recommend pulling the transcripts of the case, Mr. Ergur interrupted, demanding that the judge let him present his side of the story.

“You’ve got to let me speak, your honor, because you throw me so many times in jail, your honor.

“And here I am in chains, your honor, and this is a dog-and-pony show, your honor,” he shouted.

The hearing was halted by Judge McConnell, who said, “I don’t need to hear this.”

The judge ordered that transcripts be pulled and continued the case to 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Mr. Ergur was arrested on the outstanding bench warrant on Thursday after making an appearance in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for a civil matter regarding the Nicholas Building.

According to the Toledo Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau, part of the fire code violations deal with a nonfunctioning alarm system that dates to May, 2008.

The Nicholas Building’s basement has been flooded with groundwater because its pumps lack power.

The building, once home to Fifth Third Bank, has been vacant for years.

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