LAKEWOOD, OH — The chief operating officer of Burton Carol Management said Tuesday the company is not to blame for the parking garage collapse at Marine Towers West Apartments that crushed cars and forced the evacuation of the 17-story building last month.
Lakewood's fire chief said a portion of the top floor of the apartment building's parking garage collapsed onto a lower level on December 23.
Miraculously, no one was hurt in the collapse.
The city filed criminal charges against the corporation that owns the building, the management company Burton Carol, and Atlas Masonry and Restoration earlier this month.
Lakewood's mayor said the companies failed to secure a permit for work being done on the garage the morning of the collapse.
On Tuesday, all three companies entered not guilty pleas to the misdemeanor charges which carry a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.
Joy Anzalone, Burton Carol's Chief Operating Officer, wouldn't comment on whether or not the company tried getting a permit for the work before the collapse.
"What I will tell you is all of our contracts require the contractor to pull a permit that they sign," said Anzalone.
Anzalone also said she believes the city's investigation into what caused the collapse will show the management company isn't to blame.
"We are confident that they know that our building, this was not a collapse because of a garage in disrepair in any way whatsoever," said Anzalone. "It was a horrific, isolated incident and we're going to get past it."
Anzalone stopped short of identifying what the management company believed caused the collapse that she said affected about 20 of the garage's 130 spaces.
The chief of staff for Lakewood Mayor Meghan George said the city's investigation into what caused the collapse continues.
"It's a major incident that happened in the city and we want to make sure the investigation is right and accurate," said John Storey.
The attorney listed in court records as representing the contractor, Atlas Masonry and Restoration did not appear in court Tuesday and did not respond to a request for comment.
RELATED: Criminal charges filed in Lakewood's Marine Towers West apartment garage collapse