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Drayman agrees to pay $15K for condo work

Former Glendale city councilman opts to settle firm's claim that it was underpaid.

August 02, 2012|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • Former Glendale councilman John Drayman has settled a $15,000 lawsuit with a firm that claimed it was underpaid to remodel his condominium.
Former Glendale councilman John Drayman has settled… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Former City Councilman John Drayman this week agreed to pay $15,000 over 15 years to settle a lawsuit filed by a firm that claimed it was underpaid for remodeling work done on his condominium.

The settlement reached Tuesday is far less than the $98,000 that the contractor, National Fire Systems & Services, had sought in Los Angeles County Superior Court after filing a lien against Drayman's condo.

“It was worth it for me to move on, to end it and move on,” Drayman said in an interview Thursday.

The settlement closes one chapter of Drayman's legal history, but he must still contend with a criminal case brought in May in which he was indicted for allegedly embezzling at least $304,000 from the Montrose Harvest Market.

Last year, National Fire Systems & Services filed a lawsuit asking for the foreclosure of Drayman's North Glendale home to recover the roughly $98,000 it claimed the former councilman owed for remodeling work done after a pipe burst in a neighbor's apartment, damaging his condo.

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Drayman paid the company $117,000 for the work, which was originally estimated at about $95,000. But National Fire has said in court documents that Drayman kept ordering changes, racking up the bill.

Sevak Bagumyan, National Fire's attorney, and company Vice President Steve Arezoomanian could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Last month, Drayman asked Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Donna Fields Goldstein to order National Fire to return the $117,000 he paid because state law allows anyone who uses the services of an unlicensed contractor to get a refund.

The two sides had been at odds over when the construction firm was properly licensed to perform the work at the time it was done.

But Drayman's motion has been taken off the table now that the settlement has been hammered out.

Drayman's civil attorney, Marie Berglund, said Thursday that she plans to draft the written agreement in the coming weeks, but the two sides alerted the judge Wednesday that they had settled.

In court documents, National Fire argued that Advanced Development & Investment Inc., a Los Angeles-based developer that has built several affordable housing projects in Glendale, was the lead contractor on the remodel.

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