Handicapped renters left without electricity after landlord is jailed

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Handicapped residents living in a Lake Worth inn were left with no electricity on Tuesday after city officials say the owner of the Breezeway Inn didn't pay his electric bill.

"I pray to God it will be turned back on because I have nowhere to go," Basil Camilot said.

Camilot's electric wheelchair could not be charged because the power was turned off.

Camilot and almost a dozen others say they pay one thousand dollars a month in rent to live at the inn.

They say utilities are included, but when owner Mike Diaz was arrested Monday, the bills were not paid.

According to court records, Diaz was arrested for failure to appear in relation to a suspended license case.

"How upset would you be if they took all your money and you had nowhere to go? We have nothing," Kristy Green said.

Green says she is also handicapped and living at the inn.

According to Lake Worth City Manager Michael Bornstein, Diaz has had his power turned off four times already this year because of failure to pay.

Bornstein told city crews to turn the power back on on Tuesday night because he said it was not fair to the people living there.

"We have our own electric utility here in Lake Worth, so we have the ability to step in on a small scale and say this is not right and is not fair. So we will have the power reconnected tonight and work through this with them," Bornstein said.

The residents were relieved when the power came back on, but worry their relief is only temporary.

"If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have the power on. But what are we going to do tomorrow or next week? We don't know," Green said.

Bornstein says city officials will reach out to the group to help them.

Palm Beach County Legal Aid representatives are also working on the situation.

A representative says they are drafting a lawsuit on behalf of the disabled renters.

But they say they cannot serve it because Diaz is still behind bars.


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