Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 19, 2012

Dream house turns into an unneighborly nightmare

(Continued)

His neighbors, the Sheys, declined to comment, but their lawyer, Frank McElroy, said Johnson had no one to blame but himself.

McElroy said the Sheys had proposed a compromise on the location of the house before it was built, but Johnson never responded.

The decision to build despite noncompliance with the zoning laws, said McElroy, "was a slap in the face (of the Sheys) with a cricket bat. He created his own problems."

Johnson summed up the long-running dispute as a "tragedy." He said a few years ago his wife "left after all the publicity. She couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't take me in my frame of mind."

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Alan Burke is a reporter for The Salem, Mass., News. Contact him at aburke@salemnews.com.

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