Party organizer found guilty of multiple building and fire code violations

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The organizer of an unsanctioned, off-campus UAlbany party was found guilty of multiple counts of Colonie town violations.

At a party on October 11, 2015, an estimated 1,000 people came to 20 Railroad Ave. in Colonie for a party. On Thursday, party organizer Garreton Smith was found guilty of 28 counts of town building code and state fire code violations.

“We are going after the organizer and the property owner,” Colonie Town Attorney Michael Maggiulli said. “The people that attended were innocent, and they could have been the victims in this case.”

Maggiulli said the town is prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.

Among the more serious charges against Smith was Failing to Provide the Required Number of Fire Extinguishers. According to Maggiulli, there was only one fire extinguisher on site, and it was defective.

Smith was also charged with Failing to have Panic Hardware on Exit Doors; Inadequate Number of Exit Doors; and Not Employing “Fire-Watch Personnel” to monitor the party as required by state law, Maggiulli said. They also didn’t have the proper permits.

Officials said some of the party attendees passed out from heat exhaustion while inside.

“There could have been a great loss of life at this event,” Maggiulli said.

Smith was fined $4,200 by Colonie Town Court.

The town hopes to discourage something similar happening in the future.

“We hope to be sending a message to other property owners in the town that if anyone approaches you to have this type of party that you have the proper permits and the proper facility,” Maggiulli said.

Mark Hoffman, the building owner, is facing the same 28 charges. He is expected in court on February 25.

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