Settlement approved on Bill Gates’ horse poop code case
WELLINGTON — Billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates has 30 days to pay $30,600 in Wellington to clear up code violations involving a misplaced manure bin.
The infractions against Gates’ Mallet Hill estate were resolved during a hearing Thursday. The case was part of the consent agenda approved without comment by village special magistrate Rafael Suarez-Rivas.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Bill Gates speaks during the Forbes’ 2015 Philanthropy Summit Awards Dinner on June 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
There was no discussion about the settlement Gates’ representatives reached with the village. The $30,600 settlement is a markdown of 80 percent from the total fines that had accumulated,which happens frequently with code compliance cases in Wellington.
Special magistrates in Wellington are appointed attorneys who serve as judges in deciding code enforcement cases. They almost always accept the recommendations or settlements presented to them by Wellington’s code compliance office, and that’s what happened Thursday with Gates’ case.
A private trust affiliated with Bill and Melinda Gates bought a 4.5-acre, $8.7 million home in the village’s Mallet Hill community in April 2013. Their daughter, Jennifer, is a competitive show jumper who has shown at Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival.
In January 2014, a village inspector found an existing horse waste bin was built too close to a nearby canal and the one the Gates family built to replace it elsewhere on the property wasn’t permitted, and the Gates family was cited for two code violations.
The family said in the fall that they didn’t know about the violations until then because an incorrect contact address had been listed with the property appraiser. A spokeswoman at the time chalked up the case to a paperwork mistake and said the family was working to fix the infractions.
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