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Originally published September 25, 2013 at 4:29 PM | Page modified September 26, 2013 at 6:36 AM

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Red tape ties up supremacist’s plan to take over N.D. town

Paul Craig Cobb’s home in Leith, N.D., could be condemned after he failed to submit plans for sewage and running water to the county government.

Los Angeles Times

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Local bureaucracy seems to have gotten the upper hand on a white supremacist’s plot to take over a North Dakota town.

Paul Craig Cobb, 61, made headlines after news broke of his plot to amass white supremacists in Leith, N.D., and win control of the hamlet by buying up property and winning local elections.

But his home in Leith could be condemned after he failed to submit plans for sewage and running water to the county government, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

Two other buildings owned by Cobb also reportedly were at risk of being condemned within the next month.

Cobb did not meet a Monday deadline to come up with a plan.

Aaron Johnson, environmental-health practitioner with the Custer District Health Unit, told The Tribune he could declare Cobb’s home uninhabitable, or the matter could go to court.

“I don’t know how the situation will progress, but the notice has expired and there is no extension,” he told the newspaper.

Cobb could not be reached for comment.

Leith, whose population was recorded as 16 in the 2010 census, was visited over the weekend by Jeff Schoep, leader of the National Socialist Movement. Schoep was greeted by hundreds of protesters from surrounding states, including scores of Native Americans, according to The Associated Press.

As previously reported, a Southern Poverty Law Center researcher tracked Cobb to Leith and published a report in August revealing Cobb had purchased more than a dozen lots of land in the area.

On a white-supremacist message board, Cobb said he hoped for a town in which supremacist speakers would come visit and new residents would “always (24 hrs a day) fly at least one racialist banner,” such as a Nazi flag.

The town’s mayor threatened to dissolve the city government and hand over power to the county if a takeover seemed likely.

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