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ADI manager tied to Drayman remodel

Faxes on company letterhead connect a project manager to condo subcontractor.

March 17, 2011|By Melanie Hicken

CITY HALL — A senior design manager employed by Advanced Development & Investment Inc. helped guide renovations at City Councilman John Drayman’s condo at the same time the firm was allegedly bilking the city of millions in tax dollars, documents show.

Drayman said he was unaware at the time of ADI connections to anyone hired to perform the renovations, which were needed to bring the rest of his condo in line with work completed by his homeowner’s association after a pipe burst, causing major flood damage.

ADI — a prominent affordable housing developer — is under federal investigation for allegedly submitting fraudulent bills to cities and transferring tens of millions of dollars to personal accounts. In Glendale — where the City Council committed more than $33 million for four ADI projects since 2005 — the alleged fraud is estimated to reach into the millions.

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Six ADI subcontractors worked on Drayman’s condo renovation in summer 2010. He said he had been referred to Glendale-based National Fire Systems — the lead contractor for the job — by an ADI manager, Khachik Zargarian, whom he identified as a longtime friend. The firm’s president said last year that he had learned of the job through ADI.

Drayman said he had no idea at the time that National Fire or the other companies were connected to the ADI, adding that many of the contractors had done work throughout Glendale.

But in three faxes dated June 25, July 30 and Aug. 4, Beth Navarrete — a senior project design manager at ADI’s construction arm, Pacific Housing Diversified Inc. — gave direction to a subcontractor working on Drayman’s condo.

The faxes — among documents subpoenaed by federal investigators, according to a subcontractor who declined to be named — are on Pacific Housing Diversified letterhead and include a fax number for a former ADI office.

In the faxes, Navarrete gives direction on work orders ranging from changes in grout and tile color to detailed sketches of fireplace design plans.

“The sample of kitchen tiles was disapproved by the client,” she wrote in a June 25 fax titled “Condo.”

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