By CASEY NORTON
Martin Morgan owes the city $20,000. He's on probation for assault. And he's running for a seat on the Kirkland City Council.
The controversial candidate has a long history with the city he wants to help lead.
Morgan's property is finally up to the city's standards. There are still run-down cars in the back and beer bottles in plain view. But the lot no longer houses any illegal eyesores neighbors can complain about.
"The guy is just a pain in the butt. He hordes and he maintains his property like trash," said neighbor Jess Paddie.
City inspectors say Morgan is the source of a string of ongoing complaints.
At one point, he had more than 11 junk cars and appliances peppering his yard. Two sheds were built on his property without permits.
As a result, Morgan ran up more than $20,000 in fines and eventually went to court to settle with the city.
"Our code enforcement allows us to assess per-day, per-violation fines, and he did accumulate quite a bit," said City spokesperson Marie Stake.
The city says Morgan has until 2016 to pay his fines.
Normally, city code violations are no big deal. But Morgan fought the city every step of the way. And now he's running for city council.
According to his Facebook page, Morgan is running on a platform of no new taxes. But his page mentions nothing about his lawsuits with the city or his conviction for assault, for which he is on probation until after the election.
Paddie says Morgan's assault conviction stemmed from a night when Morgan sprayed Paddie and his wife with a hose, then ran when police arrived.
"They actually chased him into the house and shot him with a Taser," said Paddie.
Morgan did not return KOMO News' calls or e-mails. But he told the Kirkland Reporter he pleaded guilty to assault in order to put the issue behind him. He said he believed the city inspectors had a vendetta against him.
Neighbors say Morgan's yard has improved since June, the same time he entered the council race. But the neighbors say Morgan doesn't have their vote.
"I don't even know who the other lady is, but she's got my vote," Paddie said.