Former Councilman John Drayman's unfinished construction permit issues have become a drain on city resources as building officials try to bring his condominium into compliance more than a year after the issues were brought to light.
“It's a burden,” Glendale Building Inspector Stuart Tom said in an interview this week. “It's been going on for over a year.”
A former political darling who fell from grace after he was indicted for allegedly embezzling $304,000 from a Montrose business association last year, Drayman has been fumbling through permit issues ever since city officials discovered he remodeled his condominium in 2010 without the proper paperwork.
His criminal case is still in the early stages in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He pleaded not guilty to all charges last year.
While city inspectors have approved work on a significant portion of the remodel, part of the new construction violates local and state building codes, and officials have not been able to ensure proper fire protection is in place.
Drayman will have to cut new holes into his walls so that officials can ensure his new heating and air conditioning systems have proper fire protection. He has had to make two openings before for past inspections.
On top of that, the permit he pulled for heating and air conditioning inspection — which is valid for 180 days — has expired. . Drayman also needs to get a new permit to check on recessed ceiling lights he had installed.
Also, in April a leaky roof damaged his living room ceiling, which Drayman has yet to fix, Tom said.
“We don't care why it got damaged,” Tom said. “If drywall has to be replaced, he needs a permit.”
Drayman first began renovating his condo in 2010 after apparent water damage.
Total permit fees for the condo have grown to at least $2,800 — a figure that could rise when he replaces the expired permits.
Attempts to reach Drayman on Friday were unsuccessful.
In January 2011, Drayman filed for renovation permits months after the work on his condominium was completed by several subcontractors for Advanced Development & Investment Inc., an affordable housing firm under federal investigation for allegedly overcharging several cities, including Glendale.
But that permit underreported the work by tens of thousands of dollars, prompting the city to demand an inspection and more permits.
Drayman contends he relied on National Fire Systems & Services, which he says was the general contractor on the project, to file the permits. In court records, National Fire contends ADI was the general contractor.
When Drayman, who railed against illegal construction work when on the dais, said when he discovered National Fire didn't file the proper permits, he tried to correct the problem.
Drayman agreed to a $15,000 settlement last year to end a lawsuit National Fire had filed against him in 2011 over unpaid bills connected to the work.
In addition to the expired permits, Drayman never included a new sliding door he installed that leads to his patio — one that officials are forcing him to lock shut because it is sandwiched between unlevel ground, creating a safety hazard.