Drayman's condo permits understated work done

CITY HALL — City building inspectors have determined that former City Councilman John Drayman and his contractor did not list “a number of features” in construction permits filed for renovations at his Montrose condominium.

Drayman will also have to reopen some ceiling and wall areas for a second inspection of wiring, pipes and ducts, officials said.

Drayman’s contractor, National Fire Systems & Services, filed permits for the renovations in January —months after the work was completed by the firm and other subcontractors of Advanced Development & Investment Inc., an affordable housing firm under federal fraud investigation.

ADI’s connection to the renovations is under investigation by the FBI, according to several subcontractors who worked on the job.

Ron Chamberlain, owner of Orange County-based D & A Coating & Restoration, said his company performed $8,000 worth of work at Drayman's condo, half of which was paid from an account for a 21-unit apartment complex in Los Angeles built by ADI in 2009.

On Thursday, Drayman said he had never heard of Chamberlain and maintained that there was no quid pro quo involved with his renovations.

“It’s just bizarre,” Drayman said. “Every contractor that submitted an invoice was paid.”

City laws require homeowners to obtain permits before any work is completed, but Drayman has said that the snafu was due to an oversight by National Fire Systems & Services.

The permits filed months after the renovations list the value of work at $30,000, although Drayman said the work cost more than $100,000.

Drayman said he had not seen the permits filed by National Fire until recently and was not aware they had underreported the work.

“There were some things that did not have permits. [The inspectors] said get the permit. That’s fully what I intend to do,” he said.

Property owners who file permits post-construction must pay double the regular permit fees, city officials said.

In a nearly two-hour inspection Tuesday, two building and safety officials recorded “a number of features” — including new windows, doors and structural changes — that were not recorded in the January permits, Glendale Building Official Stuart Tom said.

“The inspectors looked at every window, every door, they looked under counter cavity spaces, looked at the electrical subpanel, they looked at the HVAC unit, they looked at everything,” Tom said.

The inspectors also notified Drayman of a few areas where ceilings and walls will need to be exposed for a subsequent inspection of the condo’s structural components, Tom said.

He added that Drayman was highly cooperative during the inspection.

Drayman said he had scheduled an inspection prior to the city’s notice being sent out, but cancelled it in order to secure needed paperwork.

Drayman is also involved with a dispute with National Fire, which filed a lien on his condo, claiming he still owed $98,222.48 for the renovations.

Drayman said Thursday that he has already paid the company $117,000 and that the lien is related to a series of charges that he disputes as inflated or inaccurate.

“The debate has not been whether they are still owed money,” he said. “The issue is more about what that dollar amount is.”

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