Lawsuit: West New York BOE trustee’s daycare was improperly closed

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El Jardin Infantil Daycare and Learning Center, a defunct business that was owned by a West New York Board of Education trustee which was closed for fire violations in late 2015, was improperly shut down, according to a lawsuit filed by the LLC. Portillo-el Jardin

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The daycare had a third party inspected and approved the fire alarm and emergency light systems, as well as the fire extinguishers, back on September 25, 2014, according to the suit, which was filed in Hudson County Superior Court back on November 22, 2016.

At this time, the daycare “abated all potential fire violations as required by the Town of West New York,” the lawsuit says.

However, two months later, West New York Fire Official Frank Martinez signed off on an order to permanently close the daycare on November 25, 2014.

As only Hudson County View has reported, the daycare was shutdown after being cited for six fire code violations, including the three aforementioned safety measures and no proper rear exit established in case of emergency.

According to the suit, the daycare received a memorandum for the right to access an emergency egress from the town, following a December 5, 2014 approval by the local planning board, Martinez still would not approve the daycare to reopen.

Martinez and then-Fire Inspector Danessa Real are named in the litigation, which also claims the daycare was shut down due to their “gross negligence” and “recklessness” which was inconsistent with inspections of past years.

Noemio Vellozzi, the attorney representing el Jardin Infantil Daycare and Learning Center, LLC, could not be reached at his office on Tuesday while West New York officials declined to discuss ongoing litigation.