Horrific conditions at FEMA-scamming motel closed by Toms River
TOMS RIVER — Pictures from inside a motel that authorities closed this month show ramshackle conditions including collapsed ceilings, broken walls, piles of debris and vermin where longterm residents lived.
The Parkway Motel, which has a history of scamming FEMA, passed its annual inspection in March 2018, when it was known as the Americana Motel, with no fire code or building violations. A year later, it was declared to be uninhabitable.
Inspectors from the Toms River Fire Prevention Bureau said they were stunned to see the disrepair as well as multiple rooms without smoke detectors and other fire code and electrical violations throughout the single-story building.
Municipal spokeswoman Stacy Proebstle said inspectors were told that several water pipes burst in late December and early January and that management didn't make any repairs to 17 rooms that were damaged.
"That's how management left it. The ceilings were falling down, all the wires are hanging down," Proebstle said.
Municipal officials on Friday went room-by-room in order remove the 18 people living at the Parkway.
After a news story on Friday about the closure of the hotel, Michael Neividomski, who described himself at the Parkway's "active manager," sent New Jersey 101.5 an email with photos and descriptions of awful conditions at the motel.
He said the room he lived in at the motel had no shower or bathroom for several months. He also said the roof and ceilings leaked and rooms were infested with rats.
Conditions at the Parkway Motel in Toms River
Neividomski wrote that raccoons were living in the attic and would claw through the ceiling to get into rooms.
Neividomski said he found more than 100 used syringes in baggies throughout the motel, including the office.
There was no working washing machine, which meant that sheets, pillow cases and towels were not washed for residents, Neividomski said.
His room also had a mold problem that the owner "solved" by painting over it, he said.
"I ended up severely sick from inhaling it. My mother ended up with bacterial bronchitis while staying with me when I was taking care of her," Neividomski said.
Among the other allegations by Neividomski about conditions at the Parkway:
- Outlets with exposed live wires.
- Beds soiled with blood and fecal matter.
- An illegal cable hookup from someone else's business.
- Warm refrigerators with maggots.
He said the motel did not pay him for extra work and would not give him tax forms required for filing.
No employees or motel residents reported the conditions to the township, according to Proebstle, who said family members who came to pick up their relatives who had been living there were shocked at the conditions.
The owner of the Parkway Motel is listed as Route 37 Americana, according to Ocean County tax records. No person's name was associated with the company name.
Sandipkumar Patel was listed as the owner of the hotel in 2016 when he was charged by then-state Attorney General Christopher Porrino with stealing $81,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds for falsely sheltering Superstorm Sandy victims. He made full restitution of the funds and was sentenced to three years in state prison.
Attempts to reach Patel were unsuccessful via phone on Monday and Wednesday. The phone at the Parkway Motel was not answered on Wednesday. The lawyer who represented Patel in the FEMA case said he is no longer Patel's legal representation.
Neividomski did not respond to emails seeking further information.
The motel was closed indefinitely as inspectors tally up the violations and the fines and repairs are made by owners.
Fourteen of the residents found other places to live, two went to stay with family and two required assistance from the county. A dog and cat were taken to the county animal shelter.