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Police searching for property owner who owes $35K in fines

BENTLEYVILLE, Pa. — Police in Washington County are searching for a landowner they say has nearly 70 bench warrants tied to lack of upkeep at properties that she owns.

Debra Hardy owes more than $35,000 in fines, police say, and her citations are all related to unkempt properties in Bentleyville and several surrounding communities.

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“Windows are busted, the roof is falling, the structure is not sound,” Bentleyville police Chief Rich Young said. “Ultimately, we have these same conditions with these properties which are unsafe and the general public, kids at play close to the house, and it’s a safety issue and she fails to take care of it.”

Investigators say they’re trying to arrest her and believe she's hiding inside her gated mansion on Debbie Lane in Rostraver.

When police approached her mansion, a maid told investigators she wasn’t there.

“We have been in contact with her. She thinks this is a joke she tells us she will pay -- she never does,” Young said.

Sean Logue, an attorney for Hardy, gave this statement to Channel 11:

"One of the companies that Debbie Hardy owns is facing some fines for simple code violations.

"Unfortuantely, a warrant was put out in the name of the company and there was some confusion about whether Debbie should be picked up on a warrant.

Fortunately, a hearing was held in front of Judge DiSalle and it was agreed by all parties that the warrants should be held in abeyance, pending the outcome of a hearing set for Wednesday.

"The area of Bentworth school district has no better friend than the Hardy family. They endow scholoarshps for the students and have done public work projects, and at the end of the process I believe that all parties will be satisfied."