The Owners of the Oneonta Hotel have been in court fighting with the City of Oneonta over codes violations. On June 21st Supreme Court Judge John Lambert ruled in favor of the City & ordered the tenants vacate the building, but the case wasn’t completely settled.
Today they were back in court arguing over Contempt charges. The Pervu’s say the codes violations were completed by the January 11th deadline set by the court.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The Pervu’s Plumbing Contractor, Jack Burguess, testified that all plumbing violations had been fixed to the –proper- code.
"If a plumber goes into a building that the plumbing was installed 100 years ago, 80 years ago, 20 years ago. Whatever the code was when it was installed, it’s expected it met the code at that time. You are not obligated to bring it up to current standard."
The Pervu’s Electrician, Leslie Milford, also testified that he had fixed all the violations he was given, but was never given a final report from the codes department.
"Normally within about 6 weeks after an inspection you get a certificate. At that time the company he was working for the owner had passed away, and they went out of business. He’s still my inspector working for somebody else now. (So was a final report ever released?) I never got one."
Perhaps the most compelling testimony was from a 3rd witness who was present at the final codes inspections. Ken Williams testified that the codes enforcement officers told him the building had passed inspection, but he believes they had been given an agenda.
"They had an agenda, and they wanted to look at areas that were under construction. They did not look at the areas that they previously inspected. They were back to… they were back with an agenda to close the Hotel."
The City Attorney believes the City has proven their case and is asking for contempt charges along with reimbursement for attorney’s fees. The Pervu’s Defense Attorney, Manny Alicandro, made one last effort to plea out the contempt charges.
"It was a continued effort, and I think we’ve demonstrated to the court today in different ways that my client made a good-faith effort and attempt to meet her obligations."
Judge John Lambert will issue his decision within the next 30 days.