After court order, it's shutdown day for Skylane Motel

Posted at: 01/23/2014 9:35 PM
Updated at: 01/23/2014 9:45 PM
By: WNYT Staff

Skylane Motel in Colonie
Skylane Motel in Colonie
Photo: File / WNYT

COLONIE - Town Supervisor Paula Mahan called the motel's conditions the worst she's ever seen.

Now, the owner of Skylane Motel on Central Avenue isn't fighting the town's decision to shut him down - even though he pleaded not guilty to more than 250 code violations against him.

The “no vacancy” sign is off, not because Skylane Motel ran out of rooms, but because Colonie town officials run out of patience. The final checkout time was 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Town officials say they found code violations in all 42 rooms. Some rooms had feces smeared across the floor. Others had rooms with concentrations of mold, and electrical wiring described as a death trap.

“In fact, the electrical room was so bad, the electrical engineers didn't want to go in, because they were afraid of being electrocuted,” said Colonie Town Attorney Mike Maggiulli.

The motel owner, Alex Patel, pleaded “not guilty” to all code violations against him. Maggiulli says Patel was also supposed to find new homes for the tenants, but did not do that. He also says Patel is under investigation by Colonie Police for allegedly obstructing government administration.

“As recently as two days ago, (he was) collecting rents and advising tenants that they didn't have to move because the town had granted an extension,” said Maggiulli. “That investigation is going on as we speak.”

Patel also owns two other motels nearby, a Super 8, and the Blue Bell Motel. Maggiulli says he has suspicious about those hotels, but there is not enough probable cause to get a search warrant.

Patel is due back in Colonie Town Court on April 17. Magiulli says the town has no intention of plea bargaining in this case. Patel faces $750,000 in fines.