Commission candidate criticizes sheriff appraisals
Realtor Ed Rothenberg, who is running against Commission President Todd Portune in November, criticizes Sheriff Simon Leis' use of "cronies" as property appraisals.
Read the Enquirer story on the issue.
Rothenberg said the commissioners should correct the problem and the sheriff should be "called on the carpet." Read more of his thoughts below:
sheriff leis and his crony appraiser friends.
-Greg Korte's story in saturday's or sunday's paper revealed a blatant disregard for taxpayers money by sheriff leis. He uses about 6 or so old buddies to appraise the foreclosures sold at the sheriff sale.
They get 375 per house for doing a quick "superficial" appraisal. Licensed appraisers usually charge about $250 to $300 for a "normal" appraisal.
The "superficial" appraisal is nothing more than a quick drive by usually without getting out of the car and then later a quick computer check to learn what the price the property sold for and some "comps". Comps are sales of similar homes that have sold in the past year or so. It is a quick
5 to 10 minute job.
Most of these foreclosures were bought in the past 3 years. So usually Leis' appraisers usually just look at the sales price of the foreclosed home to determine price. This is thus a several minute job on the computer.
At the sheriff sale, the starting price is 2/3rds of the appraised price given by Leis' appraisers. In most cases, the lender buys the property because the loan and penalties are far more than a bargain price for normal bids by individuals.
A "normal" appraisal requires the appraiser go inside and all around the property, note the condition and mechanics, etc. Then later a detailed computer check for comps and a write up of the market method and the cost per square yard method (also known as the cost to build less depreciation).
I could easily hire licensed appraisers to do this kind of work and knock out about 10 to 15 houses a day for $50 to $75 per house.
The sheriff gives his friends a car and driver which is yet another unnecessary cost. Professional appraisers do their own driving and pay for their own gas.
As consideration for their cushy deals, the friends of Leis gave about $1000 a year to the sheriff's campaign fund. Once again an obvious blatant disregards for the tax payers.
I would imagine that the county could save hundreds of thousands a year if appraisals were handled professionally and honestly.
I also understand that for years the friends of Leis were getting paid a "percentage" of the price they appraised the homes for. This is unheard of in the appraisal field. This was changed just recently because it created an incentive for the appraisers to appraise high. And we don't want that sort of conflict of interest.
I would hope that the three commissioners take action to correct this as it is dishonest and wasteful. They are crying they need to save money...well here's an opportunity to save hundreds of thousands a year.
I can't believe the sheriff allowed this to go on. HE SHOULD BE CALLED ON THE CARPET AND REPRIMANDED