Seems like the owners of new sushi bar Ichiro Restaurant have some explaining to do.From the News-Times
There were 11 bedrooms in a space designed for three. There were 29 beds all told on just one side of the two-story duplex, city officials said.
For months, city inspectors have been cracking down on dangerous illegal apartment houses. Over the weekend, they found one of the more extreme examples.
Only this one had a twist.
Many illegal apartments are filled with undocumented immigrants, but the residents of the Thorpe Street duplex were of Asian, not Hispanic, ethnicity.
The house was purchased by the owners of the Ichiro Hibachi and Sushi Bar on Newtown Road, which opened in April. They turned one of the two apartments into a residence for restaurant workers. Now the restaurant's two partners are in hot water.
City inspectors entered the boarding house Saturday afternoon, with the permission of a man who answered the door. Officials described the renovated interior as resembling a dormitory or military barracks.
The inside rooms were neat and sparse – simply a series of bunk beds with little else, officials said. However, the city inspectors described it as one of the biggest fire traps they have seen.
The kitchen had been torn out and replaced with a bedroom. There were bedrooms in the attic as well. The heating system was jerry-rigged and bedrooms had too few escape routes, officials said.
You know that the wackos in the area were hoping that the place was housed by Latinos instead of Asians.
The funny thing is that this illegal apartments are nothing new to the area. Landlords have been getting away with this stuff for years and the city has not been togh enough of them. Now with illegal immigration being the so-called "hot" topic in the city, Mayor Boughton is acting like he's talking tough on landlords by linking illegal immigration and human trafficking to this particular situation (oh, did I mention that illegal apartments have been a problem in Danbury for YEARS before illegal immigration WAS an issue).
"We know that often in situations like this the food service industry is involved with human trafficking," Boughton said, referring to the practice of bringing immigrants into the country to provide cheap labor. "If you have a single-family house with 29 beds, there is obviously something going on. We will refer this to the proper federal authorities."
When reached at the restaurant Monday, David Pan said the workers are legal residents of the United States. "They all have documentation. They are all legal residents.
"Some of them are my friends. Some of them are my relatives. This a family business."
This is just nonsense, Boughton is playing his anti-immigration card (although subtle) with a situation where there is NO evidence that any of the people are illegal. Don't get me wrong, having a illegal house is a bad thing but connecting this case to the overall theme of illegal immigration is not only a political stunt and dishonest, but also shameless.
For years illegal apartments has been a major concern that the city never properly addressed probably because of the influencve some landlords have in city government (you know who they are). Funny how the city never tackled this issue or even really mention it to this day.
Seriously tackling illegal apartments is not something high on the priority list in this area or else something would of been done about it years ago (anyone who lived here during the late 80s and 90 know about complains about illegal apartments being occupied by Asians). Nothing will come of out of this situation than a fine and just like the countless other illegal homes in the area, they'll be back in business in no time.