Metro-East News

Caseyville trustees vote against shutting down troubled motel

Caseyville’s Village Board has voted against shutting down a motel that St. Clair County’s top law enforcement official calls a nuisance.

Village trustees voted 4-2 Wednesday against shutting down the Rodeway Inn, the site of a police investigation that resulted in the owner being charged with promoting prostitution and solicting a minor.

Police raided the motel May 10; Popatel “Pete” Patel, the owner of the business, posted a $200,000 bond and was released from St. Clair County jail.

Following the investigation, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly petitioned the court to close Rodeway because it is “a nuisance” to the public.

Caseyville Trustees Brenda Williams, John Buckley, G.W. Scott and Wally Abernathy voted against shutting the business down, saying they had information only from media accounts and no information from the police or the state’s attorney’s office.

Board members Jackie Mitchell and Matt Modrovsky voted to shut it down.

“We have a moral obligation to take care of the residents. We can’t promote that type of activity in this village. It’s the right thing to do,” Modrovsky said.

Trustee Buckley said a big issue for him is the way the matter regarding Rodeway was introduced to the Village Board.

“It was on the agenda as a resolution to pull the business license. It was never given to committee and there has been no discussion. It was just thrown on the agenda,” Buckley said. “It should have gone to committee. Then there should have been a closed session where we all talked about it.”

Buckley said he wished police and prosecutors had given the board more information.

“We don’t want to go above and beyond what they are doing. We don’t want to mess up what they are doing. They’re pretty high up the chain when it comes to the law,” Buckley said.

He said if the board receives information from authorities that is proven to be true, “we’ll be more than happy to act on it.

“Right now, we don’t really know what’s going on.”

Casevyille Mayor Leonard Black said he expects businesses in the village to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

“As long as I am mayor of Caseyville and a resident of Caseyville, I will not tolerate any business or activity in our community that doesn’t reflect the proud values of the citizens of Caseyville,” Black said.