HOLLY HILL, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The landlord of a mobile home community that aims to help people who are “improving their financial positions, and recovering their lives” might evict his own sons for breaking the rules.
Gene Legodais and his family fix up the mobile homes and rent them out for a low price. In return, they ask people to do a little work on themselves.
“We've helped find jobs, we've helped people get their houses back, we've helped people get into conventional houses,” he told FOX 35.
Legodais founded the New Life Recovery Project in 1987. He bought the mobile home community, called Riverside Community, about two years ago. As a recovering addict, he said, he knows people need a second chance. But he said he’s had to tell tenants who don’t make progress, because of continued use of drugs and alcohol.
“I'm warning you that if this keeps up I'm going to have to start eviction.”
Now, he might have to evict his stepsons, Chris and Chad Whiton. Holly Hill Police say they arrested the brothers Tuesday on warrants for growing marijuana.
According to court documents, when officers arrived at Chris’ house to serve the warrant they found three full grown plants, seedlings and materials for growing and storing marijuana. The warrants stemmed from a visit officers made to each of the brothers’ homes in June 2016. Police say each man had marijuana in his home at that time.
“You're putting yourself out there as a community that's supposed to help everybody get their feet under them and back out in society. Obviously, the drug element contradicts that philosophy,” said Holly Hill Police Chief Steven Aldrich.
The family says the irony isn’t lost on them.
“I wanted to just crawl under a rock, but you've got to face it,” Legodais said, while Chris Whiton sat silently nearby.
Legodais has an innocent-until-proven guilty policy for his tenants, so “It's very difficult to say to everyone else in the park, they're innocent until proven guilty ,but you've got to go so…”
For now, he said, the brothers will stay, but “we’re going to have a talk.”