Kenneth Knudson, a WWII Veteran, was sent to Jail for poor maintenance of his office building

January 3, 2014, the Blaze reports a story of an 88 year old WWII veteran being charged a fine and sent to jail in Horton, Kansas.

Kenneth Knudson is the owner of an office building and a beauty salon. Knudson says he has never been in trouble with the authorities. That is until public officials issued a citation to the office building Knudson owns and have since labeled it a public hazard. Because of this, Knudson found himself in jail last month.

Knudson says he cannot afford to repair the wall and the city refuses to show him any leniency. This is disappointing because Knudson says he has dedicated most of his life to the town.

“I was on the planning commission for Horton, I’ve been the president of the chamber, I’ve been on the appeals board,” he told WDAF-TV.

The veteran is hoping to appeal to the town, the judge, and the city to cut him some slack on the repairs. He states that both his businesses, a jewelry store and a beauty salon, are struggling and they are barely keeping him and his wife afloat.

“I went around and tried to get contractors to bid on it and fix it and no one was interested,” said Knudson.

At one point, the city offered to repair the building for $10,000. The city said he could put it toward his taxes, but the cost of the repairs was still too expensive for Knudson.

“You should be able to buy the whole downtown for five thousand,” he said jokingly.

On December 23rd, Knudson appeared in court to tell the judge that he couldn’t afford the repairs. He was sent to jail and fined $100.

“I just couldn’t believe it, I just couldn’t believe it,” his wife Veda Knudson said.

Knudson stated: “[…] they can’t throw you in jail for that, you didn’t do nothing. I said no, that’s why they’re throwing you in jail. I didn’t get nothing done.”

Knudson says that he has been ordered by the judge to repair the building before he goes back to court later in January or he will have to pay a $500 fine.

“I just don’t have the money to fix it,” the veteran said, who has placed a plastic fence around his building to prevent people from getting too close.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE