A Montgomery County judge has handed down a split verdict in the trial of a developer who owned a condemned condominium building in Norristown. The judge found Bruce Fazio of Upper Providence Township guilty of theft but not guilty of risking a catastrophe and endangering the welfare of others.
During his trial he said he had experience buying and renting homes in the Norristown area, but he had taken on a project too big for a small developer to handle when he tried to have 26 luxury condos built on Sandy Street. The judge apparently accepted the defense argument that he relied on inspections by other people in areas where he had little or no expertise. The residents were forced out two years ago when a judge had the building condemned for substandard construction.
The theft charges stem from an incident several years ago when he traded one of the condos with a woman for her Bridgeport home. He told her he owned it free and clear, but in fact a bank had placed a lien on the condos for money he owed on his mortgage.