On Tuesday, Wheeling Council declared the Wheeling Inn a public nuisance.
The vote went 5-1 with City of Wheeling Vice Mayor and councilman Chad Thalman as the only no vote.
There will be a public hearing set for June 9 and the Wheeling Inn will stay closed until that date. Wheeling Council said employees will continue to keep their jobs.
Several community members voiced their concerns at this afternoon’s meeting.
Many said the illegal activities including drug dealing, done at the hotel are making the area unsafe and that this problem has been ongoing for many years.
Another speaker urged the council members to give the owner a chance to clean up the property before shutting down this local private business.
The owner of the establishment Anand Patel responded to the decision.
‘It is unfortunate that this Wheeling City Council did not take the time to do their jobs and fully digest the information they were provided by Chief Schwertfeger and examine his officer’s actions and their systematic attempts to cause disturbances at the Wheeling Inn and create a fictitious narrative.
24 of the 35 made-to-cases arrests in 2021 that Chief Schwertfeger provided prior to and during Operation Knighthawk happened off the property and many of those locations were intentionally altered to say “949 Main St.”
This Wheeling City Council voted to shut down a business based solely on a manufactured report and that is a terrible precedent to set. Besides shuttering a business, the only thing this City Council accomplished was reaffirming the Police Chief’s unchecked powers.’