Victory Inn guilty of health violations PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 14:32
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Jamal Garmo, left, of Victory Inn in court with his attorney. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The owners of the Victory Inn & Suites have been found guilty of a series of health violations after pleading no contest in court Tuesday.
Jamal Garmo, of Michigan, appeared with his attorney, Harold Hanna, in Bowling Green Municipal Court to answer the charges.
The business could face up to $19,500 in fines when the matter goes to sentencing in November.
The hotel, 1630 E. Wooster St., is listed on the Wood County Auditor's website as being owned by the Bowling Green Lodge Limited Liability Company. The Municipal Court site lists Garmo and Sam Arous as the addressees for the hotel.
The case originally was set for a court trial Tuesday afternoon before Judge Mark Reddin - the trial itself had been rescheduled multiple times. However, at around 1:40 p.m., as the proceedings began in Reddin's court, City Prosecutor Matt Reger indicated that the matter would not be going to trial and that a deal had been reached with the defendants.
The hotel has been under scrutiny since violations dating back to 2012 came to light, including bedbugs, plumbing and electrical problems, a lack of smoke alarms, and cleanliness violations. The case has been ongoing in BG Municipal Court since January.
Garmo had attempted to fight back against the allegations, bringing a lawsuit against the Wood County Health Department and the State Fire Marshal's office this spring. The suit, which alleged unwarranted and harassing inspections, was dropped this summer.
In court, no contest pleas were entered to five violations brought by the Health Department, which were in turn violations of city ordinances. Reger said that, had the matter proceeded to trial, the prosecution would have shown evidence of problems including accumulated dog feces and litter in the yard of the hotel, water stains, and interior sanitation issues including cigarette butts and stained bedding.
Hanna also spoke in court indicating that the defendants had made "gradual improvement to the premises" since January.
"In the last 90 days especially, the defendant has spent $24,000 in improvements" both in sanitation and infrastructure at the Victory Inn.
"We believe that evidence would have shown that the defendants have made a good faith effort," Hanna said.
After entering the no contest plea, Reddin found the defendants guilty of the counts, and also of a community control violation relating to the case. Sentencing in the matter is set for Nov. 12 at 11 a.m.
In the meantime, the Victory Inn is to submit two quality control reports to the court. Hanna indicated that would not pose a problem for the defendants.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 September 2013 09:31
 

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