By Sunny Day
Las Vegas Tribune
Several people have obtained legal representation to sue the owners of the Alpine Hotel where a December fire left six people dead and 13 injured.
The lawsuit against Alpine Hotel owner, Las Vegas Dragon Hotel LLC and Adolfo Orozco, in the aftermath of the deadly Dec. 21 fire in downtown Las Vegas, may be pointing in the wrong direction or at least in the wrong coffer.
Las Vegas Dragon Hotel LLC and Adolfo Orozco may not have unlimited liability or the account balance of the owners of the hotel is not as large as it may seem, even with insurance and all.
However, the City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue and the Code Enforcement Crew of the City of Las Vegas have plenty of money and they all are as responsible as the Las Vegas Dragon Hotel LLC and Adolfo Orozco.
Survivors of the blaze have long claimed poor conditions inside the Alpine Motel, including a bolted back door, defunct fire alarms and a lack of heating equipment.
The hotel was the site of both criminal and civil investigations and the District Attorney’s Office, under the political eye of Steve Wolfson, charged Adolfo Orozco and his business’ associate with multiple felonies, but the City of Las Vegas, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue and the Code Enforcement of the City of Las Vegas were not charged with any crime.
One of the several lawsuits filed against the owners of the hotel alleges that Orozco breached his duties as landlord by “failing to act on known problems in the building despite tenants’ complaints.”
But if Las Vegas Fire and Rescue had not breached its duties, the smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and alarms would have been properly maintained and the fire could have been avoided.
Doors to the property are also specified in the suits. Accounts from witnesses indicate one of the doors was blocked in violation of fire codes.
Both the Las Vegas Fire and Rescue and Code Enforcement had admitted that they had not visited the premises of the Alpine Hotel in downtown Las Vegas for several years with no reasonable excuse or explanation.
Code Enforcement on their own admission had not visited the Alpine Hotel in two years and the Las Vegas Fire Department longer than that.
Perhaps part of the duties of a city council should be to visit some of those California slum lords that have taken over the Las Vegas territory.
Telephone calls to Vicky Ozuna, the head of Code Enforcement for the City of Las Vegas, to learn the name of the code enforcement agent assigned to Ward 5 where the Alpine Hotel is located, were never answered by press time.
We asked the same question of the office of Ward 5 Councilman Cedric Crear, and we are still waiting for Councilman Crear to respond to our question, but we have learned that he may be too busy attacking a fellow council member and trying to become the first Black mayor in Las Vegas.
What have these “important” code enforcement agents been doing that takes them two or three years to check on the safety of hotel tenants?
Some weeks ago we counted ninety-two California plates in the area of Decatur Boulevard between Desert Inn Road and Meadows Mall, all in the city of Las Vegas.
Most likely none of those ninety-two cars were tourists; they may be working in the area, conducting business without a license and driving without changing their license plates; not only would doing the right thing improve the coffers of the State of Nevada, but also following the law requires new residents to turn in their other state plates within thirty days.
The law requires that when a person moves to another state they have to obtain a new driver’s license, re-register their vehicle with that state, prove again that they have insurance and turn in their old license plates to the new state’s DMV office after which they will be issued new plates for their car or other vehicles.
The question could be: Why has Nevada allowed so many people from other states to abuse our welcome to Las Vegas’ hospitality?
Perhaps the cooperation of some hotels and local businesses may be needed to enforce the city codes, ordinances and regulations because as the police always say “see something, say something,” but the question is: to whom?
Law enforcement agencies are always telling the community that it is their duty to say something when they see something, urging them to become snitches for free, but when someone does the right thing and says something, they all pass the buck, either because they are afraid of the consequences or because they are too lazy to take action.
Just last week there was an 18-wheeler parked in a residential area and when someone who saw that something called in to say something about it, they passed the buck from code enforcement to parking enforcement to parking administration back to parking enforcement.
Finally, someone answered the telephone in the office of parking enforcement saying that it is part of parking administration, but the man was too lazy to transfer the call to the right person.
Now the new excuse for ineptness is the coronavirus and everyone blames Covid19 for any reason, and the man who answered the telephone in parking enforcement told the Las Vegas Tribune that “due to Covid19 it will take two to five days to send someone to find out why an 18-wheeler is allowed to park in a residential area.” (During which time he can move and therefore get away with his infraction and thumb his nose at the law.)
Maybe it would be better to change the “see something, say something” slogan to “see something and do your job,” unlike what we’ve heard in restaurants when a customer asks for a glass of water and gets the response, “This is not my station.” The restaurant should care about customer satisfaction as their goal and their duty. Does anyone see a resemblance of how the city departments serve its citizens to customer satisfaction in a restaurant?
Have a Sunny Day!
By Sunny Day