Illinois Attorney General Settles with Hotel Owner in Asbestos Removal Case

January 5, 2009

The owner of a now-demolished southern Illinois hotel has agreed to pay $30,000 as part of a settlement with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan over asbestos that she says was improperly removed.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency halted demolition of Vithalbhai Patel’s Howard Johnson Express Inn in 2003 after he failed to inspect for asbestos. The agency found the material in the ceiling and ordered Patel to remove it.

Officials returned in 2005 and again found asbestos, which was later removed. The building was subsequently demolished.

Madigan filed a complaint against Patel in 2007. The settlement needs approval from the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

Messages left at numbers listed for Vithalbhai Patel weren’t immediately returned.

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