The indictment against John Drayman on Tuesday was only the latest in legal woes the former city councilman has had to grapple with over the last several years.
Some of his troubles — namely those associated with an expensive home remodel tied to an affordable housing developer accused of bilking Glendale of millions of dollars via inflated construction bills — came to light as he sought, and eventually lost, reelection.
A look back at the major developments in the legal web Drayman has found himself in:
Advanced Development and Investment Inc. — the Los Angeles-based developer responsible for most of Glendale’s large scale affordable housing projects — has been under federal investigation for more than a year. ADI allegedly bilked Glendale and other cities of millions of dollars by inflating budgets and reporting false invoices.
Glendale filed a lawsuit against the company in 2011 to recoup the money.
National Fire Systems & Services Inc. was a subcontractor for ADI, but also the lead contractor on Drayman’s condominium renovation, despite not having a general contractor’s license when it began the project.
Last year, an ADI design manager was tied to Drayman’s condo renovation. Beth Navarrete — the senior project design manager at ADI’s construction arm, Pacific Housing Diversified Inc.— guided Drayman’s renovations via fax invoices through summer 2010.
Contractors who worked on the condo have said they were investigated by the FBI and asked about the renovation.
National Fire did not get proper building permits from the city when it began working on Drayman’s condo. When the company finally did get permits months later, it reported the work as being worth $30,000, far less than the roughly $213,000 in work that the firm would later report spending in Los Angeles County Superior Court records. The lower figure significantly cut the cost of the required permits pulled with the city’s planning department.
Drayman has been working to bring the renovations into compliance with the city for more than a year. He has been charged about $2,800 for permits and fines. Building officials have inspected his home several times to verify the work stated in the subsequent permit applications, going so far as to make Drayman cut holes into his walls for the inspections.
National Fire claims Drayman owes the company $98,000 plus interest of 10% per year starting in November 2010. Drayman said he’s paid National Fire about $117,000, but then stopped payments due to the permit debacle and disagreements over who was responsible and how much was owed..
In April 2011, National Fire filed a mechanic’s lien against Drayman’s property for about $98,000. In July, it filed a lawsuit to foreclose on his condo.
Drayman said National Fire has no legal standing because the lien was filed after state-imposed deadlines expired.
Mediation and settlement conferences are scheduled for June. If those are unsuccessful, the case will likely head to a jury trial in July.
FAILED RE-ELECTION BID
In April 2011, Drayman’s permit issues and involvement with an ADI subcontractor were aired during the campaign. He narrowly lost reelection, coming in third place behind Councilman Dave Weaver by 61 votes.
In May, police began an investigation into embezzlement allegations brought against Drayman by the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., a business improvement district on Honolulu Avenue. Drayman helped established and run the association’s Harvest Market on Sundays.
-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News