Fix It, Or Building Will Be Vacated,
Owner Held In Contempt, Judge Says
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – County Judge John Lambert this morning supported Oneonta City Hall’s actions against Oneonta Hotel owner Melania Pervu in every particular, only extending the deadline for final action until January.
After conferring with lawyers for both sides for 40 minutes in chambers, Lambert, filling in as Supreme Court judge for Michael V. Coccoma, on assignment out of town, declared:
• One, city building inspectors must provide Mrs. Pervu with a comprehensive list of violations by Oct. 1.
• Two, Mrs. Pervu must apply for building permits to repair all violations by Oct. 15.
• Three, if by Jan. 11, 2019, all the violations are not corrected, the building will be vacated and Pervu held in contempt of court.
An associate of Pervu lawyer Ryan T. Donovan of the Albany firm, Harris, Conway & Donovan, interrupted an effort to interview Pervu, who was there with husband Nicolai and two daughters, one of whom brought her baby boy. A tenant was also there, ready to testify on Mrs. Pervu’s behalf.
City Attorney David Merzig said, since the city Board of Public Service has already found the building unsafe, Mrs. Pervu is not supposed to be renting to anyone. And, he said, any tenants are “under no legal obligation to pay any rent.”
Of the new deadline, Merzig said “we would rather have that date tomorrow.” However, the city’s case against Pervu – it has been underway since the third quarter of 2017 – “now has the support of a judge,” he said.
While the vacate order is in place for Jan. 11, the city attorney said City Hall will probably be back after that date before any evictions occur.