Group confirms Drayman concerns

CITY HALL — The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. contacted police about concerns regarding former-Councilman John Drayman’s handling of the Harvest Market, board officials confirmed Thursday.

In an interview published in the Crescenta Valley Weekly, Alyce Russell, the president of the shopping park board, said they went to Glendale Police because of a jump in vendor proceeds that occurred after stricter oversight of revenues were implemented. Vendors at the Sunday market primarily sell fruits, vegetables and other produce, though clothing, crafts and antiques also are sold in an area called the “Thieves' Market.”

Glendale police, who served a search warrant on Drayman's condominium on May 17, again declined to reveal the organization involved in the investigation.

When reached on Thursday, Russell would only say, “I have since been told I cannot make a comment.”

However, she told the Weekly that “once we realized something was wrong, we went to the police and let them take it over.”

Dale Dawson, executive director of the shopping park, also declined to elaborate.

“It’s an investigation,” he said. “It’s between John and the GPD, and we do not want to get in their way.”

Drayman could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The confirmation came days after the Glendale News-Press reported that the association had begun to ratchet up oversight of the weekly harvest market, which had for years operated in the red.

In the years since he helped create the Harvest Market in 2002, Drayman maintained an active role in the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. and the market, even after winning a City Council seat in 2007.

The board of directors on April 7 created a “Harvest Market Oversight Committee,” according to minutes of the meeting. In recent weeks, market vendors say they were briefed on a new procedure for the collection and recording of their weekly cash payments.

Previously, interviews and records show, both collection and reconciliation of the cash to the MSPA books had been haphazard, at best. And some vendors said Drayman had been involved in the collection.

The association's financial woes have been deepening, with the market budgeted to lose $52,000, according to a treasurer's report.

But shortly after the creation of the oversight committee, reported revenues at the market spiked. In an April 17 email, Drayman referred to the jump as a “strange, but really terrific” event.


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