Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown Evicted

 

September 22, 2014



Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown, evicted from his apartment for not paying rent for at least three months, has been ordered by a judge to reimburse his landlord thousands of dollars.

The judge in Santa Monica Superior Court ruled in favor of the owner of the 15-unit building in the 13700 block of Cordary Avenue during a Tuesday morning hearing that Brown did not attend.

Brown, who was elected last November to his first political office, said in an interview this week that he stopped paying rent in May because the town house he was renting from KIG Properties LLC for $2,350 a month was run by “slumlords.”

KIG Properties initiated the unlawful detainer case in July, and Brown said he and his wife and two children moved out in early August.

“I’m not going to have my family using one working bathroom in a three-bathroom town home,” Brown said. “I asked multiple times for the pipes to be fixed over and over again. My response was: ‘Go ahead and sue me, I’m not going to allow you to treat me that way.’ ”

Former Mayor Guy Hocker, who led the city from 1976 to 1985, was Brown’s property manager and disputes the mayor’s claim that the unit was in disrepair.

“There was nothing wrong with the property whatsoever,” Hocker said. “We put in a new stove for him, but for some reason he stopped paying rent.”

City Manager Mike Goodson said he has received complaints from other tenants of the building, which was built in 2006, about “plumbing problems, rodents and vermin.”

The unlawful-detainer case was initiated against Brown and his wife after he refused to immediately move out after he stopped paying rent in May.

Dennis P. Block, an attorney based in Valley Village who specializes in evictions, said the landlord is still owed about $7,000.

 

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