Drayman under investigation for embezzlement

Former City Councilman John Drayman is under investigation for allegedly embezzling money from an unnamed organization in which he had an active role, a Glendale police official confirmed Tuesday.

Police served a search warrant for his Montrose condo Tuesday but would not say when the alleged embezzlement took place, how much money was involved, or at which organization.

Drayman did not return calls seeking comment.

Officials said the investigation was not related to Advanced Development Investments Inc., an affordable housing developer under federal investigation for fraud whose subcontractors performed renovations on Drayman’s condo.

Glendale police opened the investigation weeks ago after following up on information that Drayman allegedly embezzled funds from an organization he was involved with, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

“The investigation is at the very early stages,” Lorenz said.

Before his election to the City Council in 2007, Drayman maintained active leadership roles in the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. and the associated farmer’s market. During his time as president of the business association, he built his following to the point of mounting his election campaign.

“The allegation of embezzlement of funds is not related to the city of Glendale,” Lorenz said.

Mayor Laura Friedman said Tuesday afternoon that she did not know enough about the case or allegations to comment.

Lorenz would not elaborate on who made the allegations or whether the alleged embezzlement occurred during Drayman’s four years in office.

He said the investigation would likely take several months.

“He has not been arrested. It is an allegation,” Lorenz said. “And at this particular time we will wait for the investigation to determine if in fact the embezzlement occurred and when it occurred.”

Drayman lost his reelection bid last month amid controversy surrounding renovations performed at his condo by subcontractors for ADI.

The company is under federal investigation for allegations that it submitted fraudulent bills to cities and transferred tens of millions of dollars to personal accounts. In Glendale, where the City Council approved more than $33 million for four ADI projects since 2005, the potential fraud is estimated at millions of dollars.

Drayman said he was unaware at the time of ADI connections to anyone hired to perform the renovations, which were needed after a pipe burst and caused major flood damage.

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