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updated: 7/8/2011 4:15 PM

Marina Motel in Fox Lake targeted for shut down again

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  • Fox Lake police chief Mike Behan, right, watched over the 2009 safety violation inspection of the Marina Motel.

       Fox Lake police chief Mike Behan, right, watched over the 2009 safety violation inspection of the Marina Motel.
    PAUL VALADE | Staff Photographer, 2009

  • The Marina Motel on Route 12 in Fox Lake when it was shut down in 2009 because of building code violations.

       The Marina Motel on Route 12 in Fox Lake when it was shut down in 2009 because of building code violations.
    PAUL VALADE | Staff Photographer, 2009

 
 

Fox Lake Police Chief Mike Behan said he has reached the limit of his patience with the troubled Marina Motel.

Now, the police chief said, it's time for the business to be shut down.

The motel in the 100 block of Route 12 has generated nearly 200 police calls since March 2010, by far the most from any business in the same period, Behan said.

Numerous people have been arrested at the motel for crimes ranging from drug activity to prostitution, and it has become a known hang out for gang members, he said.

Its domestic disputes are too numerous to count, and two children who were living there are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, he said.

Worse, he said, the owner and management have done little to reduce the complaints.

"If we don't do something now, someone is going to get hurt," Behan said. "It's time we take this issue to the next level and either have the Lake County State's Attorney's office step in or the village pulls their business license."

The motel owner, Joseph Wulf, has been served with a summons to meet with Lake County prosecutors within six days to develop a plan to address the problems, Behan said.

If Wulf fails to meet with the state's attorney's office, or follow their directions, a lawsuit will be filed claiming the motel is violating the Illinois nuisance abatement law that could result in a judge shutting it down for a year.

Behan said he's also instructed village attorneys to determine if the motel's business license can be revoked.

"The calls to the motel have really gotten out of hand," he said. "It's time to take this to the next level for the safety of the officers of the police department and the people of Fox Lake."

Bogdan Humienik, who identified himself as the "interim manager of the motel," said calls must be directed to Wulf, but is unsure when Wulf would be available for comment.

This is the second time in two years the Marina Motel has been targeted to be shut down.

It was closed by the Fox Lake building department between October 2009 and March 2010 due to numerous building code violations that were discovered after police learned a disabled man was living in squalor inside the facility.

The business was shut down while those code violations were fixed.

The village also forced Wulf to sign the "Crime Free Act", which states motel caretakers must work with police to keep the motel crime free. Behan said the motel has not cooperated, and the volume of police calls is on the rise.

The motel generated 84 police complaints between March and Dec. 31, 2010. In the first six months of 2011, police have been to the motel 109 times, he said.

"In comparison, we received about 20 calls annually from the other two motels in town, and only about a dozen calls a year to the largest tavern in town," Behan said. "Someone is going to get hurt if we let this continue."

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