Baltimore Slumlord Watch Gets Sued!

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It was only a few days ago that we reported on Carol Ott, the brains behind Baltimore Slumlord Watch, getting some glowing national attention from The Atlantic. But the news hasn’t all been rosy for Ott in recent weeks; the popular blogger/local activist is getting sued for her part in a mural art project, ABC News reports.

Business Insider photo.
Business Insider photo.

The suit alleges that Ott launched a project in which artists painted vacant properties with QR codes that provided information about the owners. The general idea is in keeping with Ott’s project, in which she photographs Baltimore’s crumbling vacant properties alongside publicly available information about their owners — who are often out-of-towners looking to make a quick buck. But Ott said that she isn’t the mastermind behind the street art project, nor did she encouraged any vandalism of any kind. (However, the Baltimore Brew did report on Ott and street artist Nether scouting out Northwest Baltimore vacants earlier this year…)

“An individual is not allowed to vandalize someone else’s property.  When someone wantonly destroys property, they will be pursued under the law,” said Brian Spern, the attorney who represented the property owners who filed the suit. Seems to me that you could make the case that a collapsing property is itself a kind of vandalism, and is much less attractive than a colorful mural, especially one with a social message embedded — but, hey, that’s just me.



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