Seattle hotel owner faces charges over asbestos removal

Seattle hotel owner faces charges over asbestos removal

A Seattle hotel owner is facing a felony perjury charge and state Clean Air Act violations after authorities said he lied about having uncertified workers remove asbestos during a renovation.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Friday he filed the charges in King County Superior Court against Vrajlal Nariya, owner of the Seattle Pacific Hotel on Aurora Avenue.

The attorney general says Nariya directed a non-asbestos-certified roofing contractor to remove ceiling material he knew contained asbestos. Another contractor witnessed it and reported it to the Department of Labor and Industries.

Investigators said Nariya initially confirmed to investigators that he had instructed the workers to remove the material, but later denied those statements under oath and claimed he removed the asbestos himself.

Nariya is appealing a $355,000 fine he received from Labor and Industries.