Binghamton Business Owner Locked Up

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 30, 2009 at 11:09 PM EDT

A 69-year-old Binghamton woman and business owner is in jail tonight, over a long-standing code violation.

Family and neighbors are outraged.

But the city says she's had every opportunity to comply.

Action News reporter Reed Buterbaugh has the story.

Sue Monico is in the Broome County jail without bail.

Her son says its unacceptable.

"She's crying her eyes out," Eric Monico said. "They handcuffed my 69-year-old mother in the courthouse and made her sit down and made me get away from her."

Sue Monico owns the Union Hotel bar on Clinton Street in Binghamton.

Over the last few years, her business was cited multiple times for a code violation due to chipped paint on the building's exterior.

She was brought to court 11 times over it.

Her son says a contractor was hired to fix the paint.

But has yet to finish the job.

He says his mother was trying to sell some of their property to pay for the repairs.

"This business has been in our family four four generations and the economic times right now are hard and business isn't up to where it should be and we don't have the means or money to repair the building the way the city wants us to," Eric Monico said.

While everyone can agree the century-old building has seen better days. Some area businessmen wonder if some chipped paint is worth sending a 69-year-old woman to jail over.

"They can pick and choose who they want to sight for things that are clearly not a public safety issue," said Victor Salcedo said, the Vice President of the Broome County Landlord Association. "They're aesthetic issues that nobody would think warrant to put someone in handcuffs for."

"A violation? They shouldn't put that woman in jail," said Barry Blakeslee, owner of Blakeslee Restaurant Supply in Binghamton.

The mayor's office calls the situation unfortunate.

But, says Monico was given 21 months, and every opportunity to comply with the city's code.

Monico was first cited for the code violations in October of 2007.

Again, the 69-year-old Binghamton woman is in Broome County jail without bail.

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