Region : Hotel Owner Fined for Safety Violations

The company that owns a Los Angeles hotel has been fined more than $11,000 for fire and safety violations, but charges against two South Bay men were dismissed.

Zuma Corp., which owns the hotel, was fined $9,082 on 10 criminal slum charges Sept. 23. Robert Frontiera, 34, of Long Beach, whose family owns Zuma Corp., was fined $2,500 after pleading no contest to five counts of fire, health, and building and safety code violations at the Frontier Hotel, a 430-room building occupied by low-income residents and welfare recipients on West 5th Street.

Charges against Michael Frontiera, 64, of San Pedro, Joseph Frontiera, 37, of Rancho Palos Verdes, and hotel manager David Michael Johnson, 36, of Dove Canyon, were dismissed.

"Generally, we make one person responsible," said Deputy City Atty. Janet Jackson, who handled the case.

Judge Thomas L. Willhite placed Robert Frontiera on two years' probation.

Charges were filed in March after several inspections by the city's Slum Housing Task Force between September and December.

Violations included lack of heat, broken and missing smoke detectors, broken fire doors, exposed wiring, defective electrical and plumbing fixtures and accumulations of trash.

Robert Frontiera said repairs have cost about $200,000. He said he expects to spend an additional $100,000 before the city's demands are met.

Tenants already have demolished some of the repairs, he added.

Jackson said the Frontier Hotel owners are not slumlords. She said the city understands that some violations are caused by tenants. However, owners of low-income housing must be prepared to invest money to keep the housing up to code.

She said she expects the hotel to meet code standards by Nov. 23.

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