Lien filed on Drayman's condo

GLENDALE — A subcontractor for Advanced Development & Investment Inc. — an affordable housing developer under federal investigation for fraud — has filed a nearly $100,000 lien on former Glendale City Councilman John Drayman’s condo for not being paid for remodeling work.

Glendale-based company National Fire Systems & Services filed the lien on April 25 with the Los Angeles County recorder, citing Drayman’s unpaid $98,222.48 bill for the renovations, which were needed after a pipe burst and caused major flood damage.

National Fire served as the general contractor for the renovations and hired at least six other ADI subcontractors for the work completed last year. In the lien, National Fire Vice President Steve Arezoomanian states that the unpaid sum was due Jan. 17.

Neither he nor Drayman could be reached for comment Friday.

In previous interviews, Drayman has acknowledged that he chose National Fire in part because the company had agreed to let him pay over a period of months. But he said in March that he had paid for the majority of the work, except for between $10,000 and $30,000 in disputed charges with one subcontractor.

A mechanic's lien serves as a hold against private property that, if unpaid, can lead to foreclosure and a forced sale of the property, according to state regulations.

On Friday, a Los Angeles County official confirmed that the lien remained active.

But National Fire, whose president said the company had never done a residential remodel before Drayman's project, lacked a license to do such work until September, according to state records, which could hinder the company’s ability to enforce the lien.

State regulations also require that liens be filed within 90 days of either completing the work or the client signing off on the project.

Drayman lost his reelection bid last month amid controversy surrounding ADI’s connection to his condo’s remodel.

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, the potential fraud is estimated at millions of dollars.

Officials at National Fire have said the job referral came through ADI, and faxes show that an ADI employee was involved in overseeing details of the work.

Federal authorities have subpoenaed records for the remodel as part of the investigation, according to a subcontractor who declined to be named.

Drayman has maintained that he had no idea at the time that anyone working on the remodel was connected to ADI, and that he was referred to National Fire by ADI manager, Khachik Zargarian, whom he identified as a longtime friend.

National Fire also did not file for any city-issued building permits until January, months after the work was completed, according to city records. The permits list the work value as $30,000, but Drayman said in previous interviews that it cost upward of $100,000.

Drayman said that the company had agreed to file for permits as part of his contract, and that he immediately filed when he learned of their absence.

In an unrelated manner, Drayman is also under investigation by the Glendale Police Department for allegedly embezzling funds from an organization in which he played an active role. Police officials have said that the alleged embezzlement did not involve city funds, and that the investigation was in its early stages.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World