Rodeway Inn owner accuses Girard, Liberty officials of racism

FILE: Crews respond to a laundry room fire at Rodeway Inn in Liberty.

GIRARD, Ohio (WYTV) – Rodeway Inn owner Indira Periysamy filed legal action in U.S. District Court Monday, alleging that 23 Girard and Liberty Township employees discriminated against her because of her race.

According to the lawsuit, Periysamy believes the employees tried to keep her “from effectively operating the Hotel, and from succeeding in making a profit from the Hotel” because of her Indian heritage.

Periysamy spells out specific accusations in the lawsuit, saying the defendants banned late-night parties at the hotel unless police were notified, charged her double the normal cost for security services, insulted her race and shut off water service to the Rodeway Inn.

Some of the defendants criminally charged Periysamy with stealing water in August of 2013, charges of which she was acquitted, the lawsuit says.

WYTV talked to Girard Mayor James Melfi and Liberty Township Administrator Pat Ungaro Tuesday, and both disagreed with the validity of the lawsuit.

Ungaro said he was disappointed by the filing of the legal action, saying he worked with Periysamy extensively to help resolve the problems.

A WYTV investigation showed that Rodeway Inn owners had not paid the bulk of their 2013 bed tax to Trumbull County as of March 2014. The hotel also closed in March 2014.

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