Local realtor faces penalty over failure to disclose lead paint

Originally published in the Niagara Gazette

LOCKPORT: A child who moved in to house was diagnosed with lead poisoning.

A Lockport woman pleaded guilty Thursday to failing to disclose the presence of lead paint in a Lockport home, about two years after the new owners learned that their child was diagnosed with lead poisoning.

According to acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., Maureen S. Walck, 72, told the prospective buyers in early 2014 that the seller had no knowledge of lead-based paint or other lead hazards at the residence, and that there were no records pertaining to lead paint in the home.

Walck, a RealtyUSA real estate broker, failed to disclose the presence of lead in a lead-based paint rider after the buyers made an offer on the house in February 2014. The owners closed on the house that April, and learned that their child was diagnosed with lead poisoning in September 2015.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango said Walck was informed of the lead hazard after executing a contract with the seller in January 2014, giving Walck exclusive rights to tell the house. The house was built around 1900 and the former owner was aware of the presence of lead paint.

Later that month, Walck disclosed the lead-paint hazards to an earlier prospective buyer, according to Mango. But after the house inspection and reviewing lead paint records, that prospective buyer backed out of the deal.

Walck faces up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine when she is sentenced on Dec. 11 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.

Date : 9/7/2017