Redirect the misdirection

What happened last week at the City Council meeting, as reported in the Glendale News-Press, was an attempt at misdirection from a significant conflict of interest and an investigation of massive fraud in city contracts.

The L.A. Times and the Glendale News-Press reported in December that subcontractors for affordable-housing developer Advanced Development and Investment and their employees and family members gave to 2009 election candidates Ara Najarian, Frank Quintero, Bob Yousefian and Laura Freidman more than $100,000 in campaign contributions.

Public records show that Councilman John Drayman received more than $8,000 in campaign contributions from several subcontractors of ADI after the April 2007 election. On June 19, city officials for the Glendale Housing Authority (GHA) met with ADI behind closed doors. The following month, the authority agreed to allocate $9.8 million to ADI.

Six months later on Jan 22, 2008, and again on July, 2008, city officials again met behind closed doors with ADI as they were requesting a $12.2 million subsidy. On Nov 4, 2008, the Housing Authority approved a loan of $14 million.

A condo make-over for Drayman was reported in the Times in December. No building permits taken for any of the work until their discovery by city activists and publicized before the City Council.

My campaign is about weeding out corruption and waste in local government. Drayman has decided to dig up my personal missteps of some 25 years ago regarding two misdemeanors and a neighbor-to-neighbor spat over a tree branch, for which I paid a fine.

Two equate my personal missteps to the possible felonious actions of a sitting city councilman for his self-enrichment is bad enough. To misdirect attention from the millions of dollars in alleged fraud by the housing developer misdirects the attention of the public at a time when councilmen should be held accountable to their record.

Desperate politicians, when discovered, do desperate things. The Glendale News-Press should correct the misdirection.

Mike Mohill

FOR THE RECORD: This corrects an earlier version that incorrectly stated that City Council members took part in closed session meetings with Advanced Development and Investment representatives. Those meetings only occurred with city officials. The statement Councilman John Drayman has not made payments for renovation work by National Fire was also untrue. Drayman said he has paid National Fire for the majority of the work, but is still in talks regarding between $10,000 and $30,000 in disputed charges with a subcontractor.

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