Prosecutor moves to padlock Hometown Inn

FLINT TWP. — Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney David Leyton has filed a lawsuit in order to shut down the Hometown Inn, G-3277 Miller Rd., because he claims it has become a public nuisance.

Leyton held a press conference last week in which he said his office would be filing suit in Genesee County Circuit Court to padlock the hotel for up to a year after documenting 130 instances where police were called to the location for a variety of problems.

The Hometown Inn, which was temporarily closed in 2015 for similar reasons, has stayed open after agreeing in court to clean up prostitution and drug trafficking at the hotel, which Leyton said the owners have not been doing since his office started documenting case there in August of 2018.

“The bottom line is this the Hometown Inn is a public nuisance and I’m going to close it down for up to a year,” said Leyton. “If I can prove to the court by a preponderance of the evidence that the allegations we set forth in our complaint are true and I’m confident can do that.”

Leyton said since August of 2018 there have been five cases of prostitution, 29 incidents of narcotics trafficking, 17 incidents of armed violence, 38 incidents of disorderly activities, 34 instances of a variety of other crimes and seven incidents of unsanitary and dangerous conditions.

Flint Township Police Chief Kevin Salter concurred with Leyton but said the real number of incidents his officers have been called there for is more like 400. Leyton added his office stopped at 130 cases because they “ran out of paper.”

“I’m here to say the Hometown Inn has thumbed its nose at the people of this community because it does not abide by any of the agreements we made with them (in 2015),” he said. “It has thumbed its nose at the community, it has thumbed its nose at the courts, it has thumbed its nose at me personally the prosecuting attorney who represents the people of this community, it has thumbed it nose at the hardworking men and women of the Flint Township Police Department, that worked so hard with them to try and help them continue to contribute to the business community in Flint Township.”

He said the Hometown Inn has gone back on every agreement and promise it has made, so this time Leyton says there will be no agreement, no “paper padlock” – he plans to take the case to trial and physically padlock the hotel for one year under Michigan law.

“I’m not trying to take people’s property. I don’t want to shutter businesses that are people’s livelihoods. But in this instance, we can’t just look aside anymore,” said Leyton. “There are too many instances and too many incidents that are causing a public nuisance and are really causing a harm to the Flint Township community.”

Salter agreed, adding that having his department called to one establishment 400 times in just over a year creates a manpower issue within the department.

“As Prosecutor Leyton said, there are 130 (documented) instances where we went out to the Hometown Inn, what he doesn’t document is we’ve been out there more than 400 times and EMS over 100 times since August of 2018,” said Salter. “As Mr. Leyton said, this is a nuisance to us.”

Leyton said his office has not had contact with the owners of the Hometown Inn. The owners could not be reached for comment.

If successful in court, Leyton said he will padlock the facility for a year.

Salter confirmed there have been a number of overdoses reported at the Hometown Inn, but he said there have been no homicides.