Man who accused Alabama motel of discrimination hires attorney, calls for shutter of motel

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 11:08 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The man who accused a Weiss Lake motel of refusing him a room because he’s in a wheelchair has hired an attorney and fired off a letter demanding the motel be shut down.

The two-page letter from Scott East’s attorney, Alan Jackson, slammed Weiss Lake Lodge and the city of Centre, AL’s leadership saying, “Weiss Lake Lodge and the city of Centre has declared war on the handicapped.”

The scathing letter is in connection with a viral video captured by East at the motel over the Fourth of July weekend.

The letter alleges the city of Centre should not have granted the current owner of the motel, Amitkumar Patel, a business license after he recently acquired the property, alleging the business did not meet the Americans with Disability Act standards and was not inspected by the city before the license was approved.

Motel’s manager, James McDonald, said they had not received the letter but had gotten a visit from an inspector who advised them of what to do to bring the property to code.

“Two signs on the doors. We got the parking lot with it [handicapped designation sign.] It’s been there back as far as I can remember. They just said that we have to put them on the doors of the rooms that are ADA compliant,” McDonald said.

At the time WBRC spoke to McDonald he said the updates had not been made.

McDonald again denied any wrongdoing by the property and said they planned to comply with any ADA standards necessary.

The letter also accused the city of being non ADA compliant.

“Centre is demonstrating a pattern of practice of failing to make even a minor attempt to bring the City up to the required ADA standards. It has come to our attention that the City of Centre is doing a complete renovation of the local community center formally known as the Armory to relocate their entire city offices and personnel. I hope the city ensured these renovations will bring the building to 100% compliance with of [sic] the current ADA requirements.”

We spoke with Centre city attorney, City Attorney Al Shumaker, Wednesday. Shumaker said the city was investigating the claims in the letter and would have no comment until that investigation was complete.

East’s attorney said a lawsuit was forthcoming.

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