More than nine months after a court-ordered cleanup of his Schaumburg home saw workers removing truckloads of rubbish, John Wuerffel is back in the village's sights, this time over an inoperable vehicle stuffed with belongings left parked in his driveway for weeks.
Schaumburg police Wednesday night placed a warning sticker on the truck, giving Wuerffel 48 hours -- until Friday evening -- to clean up the vehicle and get it back in working order. If not, the village will tow the truck from the property.
"With the high temperatures lately, the vehicle on his driveway has been causing more of a public nuisance, and is heading into public hazard, because of the odor (coming from it)," said Mary Passaglia, the village's public health officer. "I finally had to take a stand."
Wuerffel disputes whether the vehicle is giving off a bad odor, and says he may be too preoccupied Thursday and Friday with legal matters in Kane County to have the truck working by Friday evening.
However, he added, he hopes to work with police to extend the deadline.
"I know them and I'm hoping they may let it go a couple of days longer," he said.
Wuerffel first made news last summer when the village declared his home, in the 1400 block of Hampton Lane, uninhabitable because of an accumulation of belongings, recyclable items, rubbish and debris inside and outside, as well as the disconnection of his utilities.
In September, a Cook County jury found Wuerffel guilty of violating Schaumburg ordinances, ultimately clearing the way for a judge to let the village clean up the property.
Passaglia said she does not believe Wuerffel has tried to live in the home since, but has noticed more items accumulating there during periodic inspections of its exterior.
"We don't want it to get out of hand again," she said.
Police Sgt. John Nebl said if the truck is towed, Wuerffel will have 10 days it claim it and pay related fees. If it is not claimed, police must send two registered letters to the vehicle's owner informing him of its status. If the vehicle remains unclaimed 10 days after the second letter, the village can auction it, if the truck is less than seven years old, or dispose of it if it's older.