By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer

Judge Ward L. Clarkson sentenced local attorney Arnold Dunchock Monday, Dec. 14, in 66th District Court on four counts of failure to repair his buildings at 223/225 N. Shiawassee (M-71) and 117/119 E. Mack streets in Corunna. While the Corunna city officials in attendance requested a more severe punishment, Dunchock walked away with 12 months probation and a $500 fine plus court costs. Judge Clarkson also imposed, as the only condition of Dunchock’s probation, a time limit of six months for him to “get the buildings secure.”

Judge Clarkson admonished Dunchock for allowing his Shiawassee Street building to become an embarrassment to the city before handing down the punishment.

“I have put a lot of thought into this, and this is a no-win situation for all involved,” Judge Clarkson said. “I don’t blame the city for being angry, but as Mr. Dunchock is currently $14,000 in arrears on his taxes, I question his ability to pay to have the building torn down or repaired. I don’t know how I correct a $150,000 problem with a 90-day misdemeanor, but it is clear that Mr. Dunchock has been irresponsible with maintaining his buildings.”

City attorney Richard Burlingame pleaded with Judge Clarkson to “hit him (Dunchock) hard,” and that Dunchock “played the city and its officials like a violin.” Corunna city planner and assessor Merilee Lawson and building inspector Robert Delaney also spoke against Duchock during the sentencing hearing, with Lawson leaving open the possibility of the city working with Dunchock, provided he brings “at least $50,000 to the table.”

“There has been nothing positive about dealing with the Dunchocks,” Lawson said. “The last thing the city wants to do is lose two buildings from the downtown area, which is only two blocks long as it is, but he has made promise after promise and nothing has been done. He has not brought a single dollar to the table, and this is something that the city has been dealing with since the 80s. Mr. Dunchock has made a pattern of delaying this as long as he can, and we are begging the court to hand down a sentence with some meat behind it. We need help.”

Dunchock plead no contest Nov. 19, to the four charges against him and reached an agreement with Burlingame to drop the four charges against Arnold’s wife, Diane.

Dunchock Sentenced to Probation was last modified: December 16th, 2015 by Karen Elford