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Leith can’t condemn Cobb’s house

LEITH, N.D. — This tiny southwestern North Dakota city has scrapped its plans to condemn and demolish the house of a white supremacist who moved to the city and bought up property with aims of turning it into an all-white enclave.

Leith Mayor Ryan Schock said Wednesday that City Attorney Thomas Kelsch has confirmed that the city can’t condemn white supremacist Craig Cobb’s house under city ordinance because the house is structurally sound and is not being lived in.

Cobb hasn’t lived in the house since he and Kynan Dutton were arrested and jailed Nov. 16 for allegedly approaching Leith residents with loaded firearms. Each is scheduled to appear in court Monday for preliminary hearings on seven felony counts of terrorizing.

Dutton’s girlfriend had been living in the house but has since moved out. Schock said the house remains unlivable because it has no running water and sewer, and the property will be posted as uninhabitable. Anyone who tries to live there will have to improve the property or face potential fines under a city ordinance approved in November, he said.

“Now, they can say they can use it for storage or whatever. It’s just not livable at this point,” he said.