- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—FRANKLIN — City Councilman Carl Bray will appear today in Franklin Municipal Court to after being arrested for criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Bray, a longtime council member and former mayor, was issued a summons to appear on the charge about 5 p.m. Monday after he entered a rental property he owns in the 6500 block of Ohio 123 to show it to a prospective tenant. Bray told the Journal-News Monday night that he gave the tenant currently living there 24 hours notice via text message before entering the property.

According to the Franklin police report, officers responded to a landlord/tenant dispute. The resident told police that “Bray forced his way in and got in her face” and wanted him arrested, the report said.

Police talked to Bray who admitted the officers to going into the residence, the report said.

The report said the investigation revealed “that Carl Bray entered the premise without privilege to do so. Mr. Bray was taken into custody for criminal trespass, and processed at the P.D.”

Bray was given his court date and was released on their own recognizance, the report said.

However, when he and the prospective tenant arrived at the rental property, the current tenant said she never got the text and did not want Bray to enter. Bray said they went in to show the prospective tenant the property and was showing the backyard when Franklin police responded to the residence after the current resident called.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ It was all in the text,” Bray said, adding that he and the current tenant have always communicated by text messages.

Bray said a Franklin officer had recently told him that a landlord could go into a rental property as long as they gave 24-hour notice. However, after Bray received the summons, he found out that may not be the case.

While Bray has owned several rental properties for a number of years, he said he has never had this happen before. He also said that it is written into his leases that he is permitted, with 24 hours notice, to show his rental properties during the final 15 days before a tenant moves out.

“You think you know the law,” Bray said. “I thought I was doing everything right by the law.”

In September 2010, Bray, Franklin’s mayor at that time, had a run-in with Springboro police in which he was cited for riding his motorcycle on a sidewalk to get around an accident. The incident became exacerbated because of Bray’s actions with the police officer when a Taser device was pointed at him.

Bray paid a $175 fine in Springboro Mayor’s Court after he was found guilty of the misdemeanor, and he apologized for his behavior during the court hearing.

At the time, Bray said the Springboro incident was “blown out of proportion” and that he and the officer had “a disagreement” on the matter.

“If I offended any of the residents in Franklin, I apologize,” Bray said, adding that when a person is in a situation, “you’re not thinking clearly.”

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(c)2015 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)

Visit the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio) at www.journal-news.com

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Topics: t000012815,t000003086,t000012821,t000205517

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