Skip to comments.Homes Coming Down To Make Way For Eastern Oklahoma County Turnpike
Posted on 11/09/2016 7:56:29 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
OKLAHOMA CITY--The 1600 square foot home on S.E. 15th came crashing down in a matter of minutes.
It was demolished on Monday to make way for the new Eastern Oklahoma County turnpike.
It happened because they were ignorant of their rights and were victimized by the state, said Steve Maguire.
Maguire helped start Victims of Eminent Domain Fund, a non-profit dedicated to telling the stories of homeowners in that part of the county and stopping the turnpike from coming through.
He says the owners of the home on S.E. 15th were told false things by the people acquiring the property for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
That if you dont take this, next time around, its going to be even less, said Maguire. They were told you dont need a lawyer, well just help you through this.
Maguire does not think the couple received fair market value for their home and hes working to make sure it doesnt happen again, printing up thousands of flyers informing homeowners in the area of their rights.
Thats part of swindling. If people are ignorant of their rights, its easier to swindle them, said Maguire.
Jack Damrill is the spokesperson for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Were not out there swindling people. Obviously were doing everything by the book. Thats how we operate, said Damrill.
Damrill says two houses came down on Monday.
Final negotiations had already been completed.
The Turnpike Authority owned them and they didnt want to leave them sitting vacant.
He says theyve only acquired a few more so far.
I think for the most part those who we have negotiated with will say that weve been fair in our negotiations, said Damrill.
Eric Groves is the attorney hired by Victims of Eminent Domain.
He says homeowners need help navigating the complicated process of eminent domain.
To engage in a transaction like that without counsel is very foolish, he said.
Groves says the Turnpike Authority should not scare homeowners into taking an offer.
Its their duty to say you dont have to take this offer. You can have a jury trial if you want one, said Groves.
Were trying to get the word out to these people that they have rights and if they dont know what they are, theyre going to get taken, said Maguire.
Maguire hopes to have his flyers, along with a memo from Groves, mailed out to all residents in the area by next week.
Damrill says the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has halted acquiring any more property until certain legal issues have been decided.
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