A Prince George's County Circuit Court judge has upheld a county agency's decision to return landlord Shao Ti Hsu's rental license, despite contention that housing code violations still exist at his Emerson Gardens apartments.
Judge Jacob S. Levin last week upheld the Prince George's County Landlord-Tenant Commission's unanimous May 12 decision to restore Hsu's license.
Robert Stokes, an attorney for the county's licenses and permits department, which suspended Hsu's rental permit in January, argued that the commission acted improperly in returning the permit in May. that it had relied on false testimony in doing so.
When Hsu appealed the suspension before the Landlord-Tenant Commission in March, Stokes said, several tenants Hsu escorted to the hearing testified falsely.
Stokes added that housing inspectors later found violations where the tenants told commissioners Hsu had made repairs.
Many of the 128 health and safety infractions reported at Hsu's Hyattsville apartments in November have not yet been cleared up, Stokes told the judge.
But Levin ruled that the commissioners did have the authority to return Hsu's rental permit. As for Stokes' allegations of false testimony, the judge declared, "I can't substitute my judgment" for the commission's.
Hsu, acting as his own attorney, argued that the commission's decision to return his license was just and should stand.
This week, Hsu, a millionaire and a University of Maryland mechanical-engineering professor, criticized the county government for allowing one agency -- the Licenses and Permits Department -- to pursue his suspension after it had been overriden by another -- the Landlord-Tenant Commission.
"The county executive, Lawrence Hogan, says we have no money, even for police," Hsu said. "They should not waste time and the taxpayers' money fighting something already decided. It doesn't make any sense."