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Jackson Man Jailed For Shingling

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The shingles that Andrew Espey put up two years ago are holding up well, but the legal battle that came with them is far from over.

It all started when Espey decided to re–shingle his roof after discovering a leak.

Espey says, "The building inspector came along and told me I couldn't do it. He told me I had to quit and take off the shingles and start over because they have a code."

A Minnesota state residential code says that new asphalt shingles cannot be installed without first removing exist shingles, and on one section of the roof Espey was installing new shingles over the old.

Espey says, "They didn't tell me I couldn't overlay shingles when I got my permit...I didn't even know they had such a code."

The city served him a stop work order, but he ignored it and finished the job.

Espey says, "I was kind of getting disturbed a little bit, somebody telling me what I can do on my home."

Nevertheless, on March of last year he was found guilty of four counts of violating building code and two counts of violating a stop work order, fined over $2000 and sentenced to 90 days in jail, 60 with good behavior.

Espey says, "60 days for working on a house and a drunk can drive down the highway and get a lot less."

Espey did report to the Jackson city law enforcement center to serve his time but was let out after just 17 days as medical precaution.

Espey is claustrophobic and a doctor said staying in jail was making his hypertension worse.

The judge reduced his 73–day balance to 30, to be served on electronic home monitoring or in jail three days at a time.

Espey says, "I said no I don't want them, this isn't what we served in the military for to be tied up in our own home."

Espey is also refusing to pay his fines, maintaining that he did nothing wrong.

Espey says, "I hope they just drop it pretty soon and decide it's enough."

The City attorney declined to comment.

Espy was arrested again last week at a city council meeting where an ordinance was introduced to make violations of the building code a nuisance. He was released after 24 hours.