OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Tony Richardson is among the greatest fullbacks in Kansas City history — rushing for more than 1,500 yards, scoring 24 touchdowns and earning a spot in the Chiefs Hall of Fame.
Kansas City fans love him, but not so much for those who live next to house owned by the man nicknamed T-Rich.
“We are kind of at our wits end,” said Sheila Rodriguez, a neighbor in the Overland Park subdivision where Richardson has owned a home since 2002.
“That a professional football player and former Kansas City Chiefs player would be so disrespectful and negligent to just walk away from a home that he once lived in and that he still owns and expect the neighbors, the HOA and the city to maintain the property for him. It’s not right.”
The taxes haven’t been paid in four years, neither have the Homeowners Association dues. A family renting the house moved out months ago and nobody can find Richardson, who played for the Chiefs from 1995 to 2005. That includes the city of Overland Park, which has tried to take him to court twice over violations, including holes in the roof, wood rot, overgrown bushes and trees. Richardson was a no-show both times. And Richardson’s troubles don’t stop there.
In 2015, Richardson has a $468,000 judgment filed against him in Minnesota — where he owned a home while playing for the Vikings. That same year, Halls Department Store in Kansas City sued Richardson for an unpaid $20,000 credit card bill. Richardson never showed up in court, but did pay the judgment.
In 2014, a bank foreclosed on another home Richardson owned in Leawood at 139th Terrace. Court records showed he skipped nine months of mortgage payments.
Financial adviser Kathy Stepp said pro athletes often provide a cautionary tale on how not to handle your finances.
“I think they are targets because people know they have all this money and really take advantage of them,” Stepp said.
What exactly happened in Richardson’s case is unclear. He only responded to FOX 4 by text message where he denied losing the Leawood home in foreclosure. He wrote that he and his “neighbor completed a deal that is not in the county record.” He also wrote that he didn’t know the Overland Park house was in such poor shape. He said he “could have been reached through a neighbor before the property got that bad.”
Neighbors told FOX 4 that every effort to reach him failed, which is why they turned to Problem Solvers. We contacted Richardson, who lives in Long Island City, New York, through his mom.
She promised to have him call us and the city of Overland Park. He did call the city.
“We have heard from Mr. Richardson and he has advised us he will contact the city with the name of a contractor to take care of some issues,” said city spokesman Sean Reilly.
About a week later, someone repaired one of the roof’s largest holes, but left without doing any more work.
“It’s like he doesn’t care,” Rodriguez said.
Neighbors say their only hope now is that Richardson will sell the house to someone who wants to live there and maintain it. Neighbors say they’d rather remember Richardson for his NFL glory.