Newsmaker of the year: John Drayman

It's been one thing after another for the former councilman.

December 27, 2011|By Brittany Levine,
  • Outgoing coucilman John Drayman addresses the City of Glendale for the last time at a swearing in ceremony at the Glendale City Council Chambers in Glendale on Monday, April 18, 2011. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Outgoing coucilman John Drayman addresses the City of…

John Drayman’s connection to a number of investigations — federal and local — continued to make headlines this year, keeping the former city councilman in the spotlight long after he lost his seat on the dais in April.

Investigations into his ties with an affordable housing developer accused of massive fraud and his alleged role in embezzlement of funds from the local farmers market dominated the news cycle this year — a fall-from-grace story that left his voter base in North Glendale bristling.

Throughout the developments, Drayman has managed to maintain a loyal following, but for much of 2011, the Montrose star has seen his shine dim.

Drayman’s woes began when the manager of an affordable housing developer accused of bilking Glendale and other cities of millions was tied to a remodel of his condominium a month prior to the 2011 election.

His connection to Advanced Development Inc. — which is under federal investigation for allegedly inflating the costs of affordable housing developments in Glendale and other cities — was aired during the campaign. He landed in third place in the two-seat race after rising to office in 2007 as the top vote-getter.


Several ADI subcontractors worked on his condominium last summer after a pipe burst, including National Fire Systems & Services Inc., which led the renovation project. Drayman has said he was unaware of any connection between the subcontractors and ADI.

But in June, subcontractors that worked on the renovation said federal investigators questioned them about the remodel.

The same month Drayman lost reelection, National Fire filed a nearly $98,000-lien on the condominium, claiming it hadn’t been fully paid for the remodeling work. Drayman countered that there was a dispute with National Fire over payments.

Another storm broke in May, when Glendale police served a search warrant for his home. Drayman has been under investigation for allegedly embezzling money from the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. and its weekly farmers market. He served as president for the board through 2007, a position that helped launch his political career.

As a business-improvement district, the city collects about $120,000 a year from nearly 200 stores in the shopping park. The board uses that money for promotional purposes. The group also runs the Montrose Harvest Market, a Sunday affair that Drayman helped organize even after being elected to the council.

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