Contractor serving time, paying fines for Lowry Hill vandalism

Things have gone back to normal on the 1700 block of Colfax Avenue since the late August sentencing of contractor Jeffrey Morgan Groves, 41, for crimes against neighborhood residents Jimmy and Barb Fogel.

Groves, who frequented a home across the street from the Fogels, pleaded guilty in July to disorderly conduct and violating a restraining order Barb Fogel had against him. Hennepin County Judge Daniel Moreno sentenced Groves to 180 days in the county workhouse and two years of probation. He must also pay $1,678 for keying the Fogels’ vehicle and smearing feces on their property, as well as an additional $3,000 for breaking their front window.

Those incidents were only part of the frequent vandalism and harassment the Fogels described last year, when a dispute with Groves got out of hand and left them fearing for their safety. The problems started after the Fogels complained to the city that Groves was illegally running a disruptive contracting business from his girlfriend’s house. 

The vandalism that followed soon caught the attention of the broader community, escalating safety concerns in the neighborhood.

The Fogels said they are happy to have Groves out of the neighborhood and though they estimate he caused around $35,000 in damage to their property, they’re glad to get some restitution.

“Life has been extremely quiet and delightful,” Barb Fogel said. “Jimmy and I are climbing out of a black hole.”