BOND COUNTY, Ill. (KMOV.com) - COVID-19 restrictions are keeping a young family from forcing a sex offender out of their mobile home. It's resulted in a difficult living arrangement for Libby Denson, her husband and two children. Libby Denson told News 4 she is currently living in an RV in her parent's driveway as a result.
Denson described the tough situation, saying, "we have to run extension cords for space heaters." Denson and her family were supposed to move into a new home on her parent's property near Hamel, Illinois. Steve and Traci Riddle (Libby's parents) hired Reed's Remodeling to build a new home behind their farmhouse for their daughter and grandchildren to live.
Steve Riddle said, "Everything started out kind of okay, I was recommending him to my friends on Facebook."
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The relationship between the Riddles and Bill Reed of Reed's Remodeling soured over the course of the project. The Riddles claim Reed walked off the job in mid-October leaving the under-construction home unusable and unfinished. Not only are the Riddles upset about the lack of progress, they are upset over the unusual payment agreement made with Reed. In addition to writing thousands of dollars worth of checks to Reed's company, the Riddles agreed to give Reed a mobile home and property in Sorento, Illinois as part of payment. The mobile home is owned by Libby Denson and her husband, and according to Bond County property records, the home remains in the Denson's name.
As the construction project unfolded, Denson told News 4 she allowed Reed to take possession of the mobile home early. Bill Reed told News 4 his brother Arnold 'Frank' Reed moved into the property. Arnold 'Frank' Reed is a registered sex offender, according to Illinois State Police, and registers his address at the Densons' home. After disputes between the Riddles and Reed over the stalled construction project, the Riddle's and the Densons wanted to reclaim the mobile home.
News 4 asked Arnold 'Frank' Reed if he intended to leave the home, which is not listed in his name, according to property records. He responded, "That's the only place I got." Denson says she's frustrated because, "The deed is still in our name, but we can't kick him out because of COVID."
Bill Reed offers his own version of events, and sees the situation differently than the Riddles. He told News 4, "I am in possession" of the mobile home, and "until my attorney can get them in court, I can't kick them out and they can't kick my brother out." Reed also claimed his brother shares the mobile home with the Densons. The Densons and the Riddles deny that claim.
According to the Bond County courts, there is currently an eviction moratorium. The Bond County Sheriff tells News 4 he can't evict anyone without a court order.
Bill Reed also told News 4 the Riddles owe him $17,000 for work that was paid through an insurance claim. The Riddles claim that's false, and that Reed failed to complete multiple projects that were paid in full, and provided News 4 with thousands of dollars worth of checks. The Riddles want some of their money back along with their daughter's mobile home.
Reed said, "I already knew they were going to get me for thousands of dollars and being a contractor, we also have rights." He added, "Now it's going to cost me thousands of dollars to take these idiots to court when I shouldn't have to."
In a follow up email, Reed claimed his brother vacated the Densons' mobile home, but he insists the property was given to him for work performed. He claims the Riddles' failed to turn over the deed. Denson says she visited her mobile home over the weekend and found a note taped to the door from Arnold 'Frank' Reed's parole officer trying to locate him.
News 4 reached out to the parole agent, but the agent could not speak on the record about the case. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Arnold 'Frank' Reed is listed as compliant according to their records.