Colonie motel operator faces 254 code violations

[image] Skylane Motel on Central Avenue in Albany (NEWS10 ABC)

COLONIE, N.Y. – A local motel operator faces over 200 code violations as the business closes its doors.

Police say they found things like mold, exposed wires, and unsafe stairs during a search warrant after officials say a tenant fell through the floor at Skylane Motel on Central Avenue in Colonie.

Now the operator, Alex Patel, is looking at up to $750,000 in fines. He appeared in Colonie Town Court Thursday morning with his attorney, pleading not guilty to all 254 code violations lodged against him.

The Town Attorney, Michael Maggulli, and the Town Supervisor, Paula Mahan, were also in the courtroom.

"We made everyone aware that today was the day we will be closing it down and placarding the building," said Mahan.

She said the town had problems with the motel and its operations for a number of years, even before when her administration took over in 2008.

"The town was not allowed to go in without the owner's permission. Unless we receive information that will give us probable cause," said Maggulli.

And officials say they had probable cause for a search warrant in December to check every room after a tenant fell through the floor.

"When we did that we found multiple violations in each of the 42 rooms. We treated it as a crime scene so our forensic officers took photos," he said.

Officials said Patel was making money off the county by housing homeless, displaced families, and some sex offenders.

The town attorney said this case is preliminary and there will be no plea bargaining as the town will be seeking maximum penalties.

Police say they will not turn anyone out in the cold.

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