BG motel sues to halt ‘harassing’ inspections PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune   
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 09:56
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The front of Victory Inn and Suites is seen Wednesday, June 12, 2013, along Wooster Street in Bowling Green. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Victory Inn and Suites, 1650 E. Wooster St., has filed a civil lawsuit seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction to stop the Wood County Health Department and Ohio Department of Commerce from "further baseless and harassing inspections."
The suit was filed late Monday afternoon and has been assigned to Wood County Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry.
A hearing has been set for Tuesday at 10 a.m.
In an attached May 20 affidavit, Jamal Garmo, principal member of Bowling Green Lodge LLC, which operates Victory Inn and Suites, stated that on Aug. 8, 2012 and May 14, 2013, representatives of one or both of the defendants made or attempted to make inspections at the business based on alleged violations of the health code. His statement indicated that on each of the two dates no problem was found.
"Based upon the repeated incidence of false complaints, I verily believe that the Wood County Health Department and/or the Fire Marshall are engaging in unlawful harassment and intimidation of me and my employees in an effort to injure my business and compel me to sell the BG Lodge premises at an unfair price," Garmo wrote in the affidavit.
The suit alleges "another warrantless, baseless and harassing inspection on May 24, 2013 further supporting the plaintiff's belief that the defendants are discriminatorily harassing and intimidating him and the staff of the BG Lodge with the intent to injury BG Lodge's business reputation."
Specifically mentioned in the lawsuit are Wood County Health Department employees Brad Espen and Tom Rutter and Department of Commerce inspector Bill Wilkins, who is responsible for inspecting hotels and motels in the state for fire or safety conditions or violations.
The suit indicates the inspectors have refused to identify any complainant and on "the singular occasion when a complainant was identified by name, the plaintiff was able to verify that no such person either existed or had ever been a patron or an employee of the BG Lodge."
In a related case, the Bowling Green Municipal Court website indicates that Victory Inn and Suites has a July 11 jury trial scheduled at 9 a.m. on alleged violations of Bowling Green's health regulations, which are enforced by the Wood County Health Department.
The charges were filed April 11.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 15:28
 

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