S.A. cemetery owner fighting back over allegations of neglected graves

S.A. cemetery owner fighting back over allegations of neglected graves

S.A. cemetery owner fighting back over allegations of neglected graves

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by James Muñoz / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 8:56 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Southern Memorial Parks, a seven-acre cemetery in southeast San Antonio, stands out for what some see as neglect.

The state of Texas has been pressing the cemetery's owner to make improvements, but now the owner is fighting back.

The cemetery, located at 3530 Roland Road, opened in 1923, but today the property appears abandoned.

The grounds are overgrown, headstones are overturned or partially buried, and burial sites are sunken or even riddled with holes. Court documents indicate roadways and trails have been made over existing grave sites.

The Texas Funeral Service Commission has documented 18 complaints since 2007.

Last November, the state Attorney General's Office filed a temporary injunction preventing Southern Memorial from operating. The owner was fined administrative penalties and attorney fees totaling more than $25,000.

An attorney for the owner has filed a counterclaim alleging the commission arbitrarily enforces rules and regulations. The countersuit claims the agency targets minority-owned funeral homes and cemeteries.

A hearing is expected in the case in mid-May.

 

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