Sheriff’s sale carried out for Pantall Hotel

Staff Writer

As of 10 a.m. on Friday, the Pantall Hotel has a new owner in line, and that person is Dennis Rodriguez, Influential Partners, LLC, who has been the first lien holder for a number of years on the property.

Jefferson County Sheriff Carl Gotwald, said the lien holder purchased the Pantall Hotel for $1 at 10 a.m. on Friday — plus the costs which are being contested, specifically the state corporate tax and unemployment tax.

"We didn't transfer any funds today for the purchase, until they can appeal that in front of Common Pleas Judge John Foradora regarding those (taxes)," Gotwald explained, adding that the judge will rule on whether or not those two taxes have to be paid. Gotwald added that they would still owe the municipal taxes, regardless of whether or not those two contested taxes have to be paid by Rodriguez.

The corporate tax being contested is in the amount of $79,130.30, and the Pennsylvania unemployment compensation fund in the sum of $48,383.16 representing delinquent contributions, accrued interest and penalties, together with outstanding legal costs.

Gotwald added that the distribution of any funds cannot be done for 10 days; the attorney for Rodriguez, Joe Ellermeyer, would then be responsible for producing a deed for the property, which is signed by the sheriff and is to be filed in the register and recorder’s office under that distinction. He noted that the property went back to the lien holder, and the transfer tax is therefore eliminated.

Gotwald also pointed out that they paid $750 ahead, so that amount would be subtracted from that total as well. He added that the lien that Rodriguez was registering against the property for the sheriff's sale was worth $2,134,707.88, which was reduced to $140,636.42.

Gotwald said Rodriguez won't officially own the Pantall until after the 10 days and after Gotwald signs the deed.

Pantall Hospitality Group, LLC, had protested the high judgment amount and sent a letter to Foradora asking to postpone the sheriff's sale and have a hearing to set out the facts.

Following the sale, there was no discussion regarding the future of the hotel or if there were any potential purchasers of the landmark hotel located in downtown Punxsutawney. Rodriguez did say that he wished this would've turned out differently.

Pantall Hospitality Group, LLC, did not respond to a call seeking comment on the sale, and no message could be left.