Suspended mayoral aide Danny Pizarro who owns dozens of city properties including low-income units and served largely as Joe Ganim’s campaign driver, drove to City Hall on Tuesday and apparently paid off more than $55,000 in outstanding property taxes that triggered his leave last week. “Mr. Pizarro does not owe any real estate taxes to the city,” according to Tax Collector Veronica Jones.
“As a landlord, I share a commitment to ensure that our neighborhoods become places where family may thrive,” Pizarro said in a statement. “It is my endeavor to change the iniquities that impact current dwelling conditions and sustain improvement over time. The $55,387.45 has been paid in full, as I am committed to improve my neighborhood.”
It’s unclear if/when Ganim will return Pizarro to his inner office position addressing blight issues in the city. Ganim suspended Pizarro without pay last week after learning of the tax liability. Pizarro also had tens of thousands more in back property taxes sold in tax lien sales by the city. But in that case he must deal with the tax lien company rather than the tax collector’s office.
Ganim announced he would not hire tax deadbeats. Pizarro was hired about seven weeks into Ganim’s mayoralty. Who was responsible for checking with the tax office about vetting tax issues?
Last week, when confronted with the news of Pizarro’s tax liability, Ganim said pay it off right away or face suspension. Now that Pizarro has written the check, will Ganim bring him back?