EXCLUSIVE: Tom Letson breaks his silence on zoning violation co - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

EXCLUSIVE: Tom Letson breaks his silence on zoning violation controversy

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WARREN, Ohio - State Representative Tom Letson was cited with a misdemeanor in Warren Municipal Court for a zoning violation at single family dwelling he was renting out.

Neighbors complained that the house was being used as a sober house for alcoholics.

In our exclusive interview, Letson tells 21 News that he didn't do anything wrong.

"People in recovery aren't scary and they aren't breaking any laws. In this particular instance no laws were broken," Letson said.

Letson did lease the house to some men who made it available to people recovering from alcoholism.

But the U.S. Department of Justice, The Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the state of Ohio all have laws that prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of familial status and disability. On both the federal and state level, physical or mental impairment includes drug addiction and alcoholism.

Letson believes the city's own website and building code policy clears him and the tenants of wrong doing.

"They way they define family is a family may consist of two or more persons, whether or not related by blood, marriage or adoption. It also says in that same section that the family can include domestic servants and gratuitous guests," Letson said.

Letson believes Warren is actually in violation of federal and state laws.

On August 7th he asked the city to modify its codified ordinance to accommodate the lawful use of his home on Foster Drive, but there has been no response.

Warren has received a complaint from The Department of Housing and Urban Development alleging the city has engaged in discriminatory practices.

No one from the city returned our calls for a comment.

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