LEOMINSTER -- Someone apparently used chemicals to burn the word "slumlord" and vulgarities into the front lawn of a housing complex that has been accused of repeated health and building code violations.

Police received a call about vandalism and "malicious damage" to private property at 155 Johnson St., part of a three-building, 17-unit complex at the corner of Viscoloid Avenue.

Photos of the damage surfaced on a community Facebook page as early as Wednesday morning. A resident, or former resident, may be the culprit, those who live in the neighborhood said.

On Thursday afternoon, workers were cutting the grass where the vandalism occurred.

The properties' principal owner, David Murphy of Viscoloid LLC, could not be reached for comment.

The Johnson Street units, plus adjacent addresses at 64 and 58 Viscoloid Ave. have been at the center of more than 20 written complaints about mold infestation, according to the Leominster Health Department, some as recent as last April. Other notices of violations have been levied by the Building Department.

The mold issue reached a crescendo on April 5 when former resident Julie Sarasty won a lawsuit against the property and Viscoloid LLC. The undisclosed settlement, which was adjudicated in Worcester Housing Court, where seven other unresolved violations had been heard in months prior, the Sentinel & Enterprise reported. Court records show as many as 66 incidents of unsafe conditions and unaddressed violations.


One report by the Building Department from Feb. 14, 2017, shows that due to several violations including a malfunctioning toilet and rotted floors, one unit at 64 Viscoloid was labeled, "Conditions deemed to endanger or materially impair health or safety and well-being."

The report, filed by sanitation code enforcer Michelle Powell, was one of many in a series of formal complaints against the property and Murphy.

The 17-unit complex is valued at $661,900.