Church leader busted for forcing tenants to suffer for months without hot water
Catholic priest covering face (Shuttershock)

Johnnie Campbell hasn't taken a hot shower since before Halloween, and neither have his neighbors.

Tenants at an apartment complex in Jacksonville, Arkansas, have been forced to boil water and bathe in their sinks for months because their landlord ignored a broken water heater for nearly three months until KARK-TV started texting and calling.

“Since October the 20th, 2022,” Campbell said. “Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year -- we’ve had no hot water. I have a big pan. I heat the stove up and I put it in the sink and that’s how I took a bath today, and that’s how I took a bath since Oct. 20, 2022.”

An official with Jacksonville's department of code enforcement said the city had received numerous complaints about the issue and sent inspectors to Stone Village Apartments seven times between October and January, but he said the landlord -- who is the director of worship at a church in Hot Springs -- appears to have turned over deceptive invoices for plumbing work.

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“We’ve interacted with them and tried to get them to fix it," said code enforcement Lt. Ryan Wright. "They’ve given us invoices where they’ve called plumbers out– come to find some of those invoices, weren’t completely accurate. They gave them to us under the impression it had recently been done and they weren’t."

A plumbing crew showed up while the TV station's reporters were speaking to Campbell, and the workers said their service was requested 24 hours earlier -- the same day KARK tried to contact the landlord.

“We have plumbers that’s here and I believe they’re here because of the media, Channel 4,” Campbell said.

The property is owned by an out-of-state company, and the city cited the building manger and ordered him to appear in court by the end of the month, and Campbell said he's relieved that hot water has been restored to the building but still harbors some resentment toward the landlord.

“After so many months, I texted him and said, “May God have mercy on your soul,” Campbell recalled.