By Ted AYALA
Affairs of municipal governance tend to be rather genteel affairs that tend to avoid the fire and rhetoric of politics at the state and federal levels. So it was a surprise to see the atmosphere grow tense and angry in the Glendale City Council chamber last Tuesday night in response to a resident’s accusations of civic corruption.
During the council meeting’s oral communications, Mike Mohill, Glendale City Council candidate and self-proclaimed city watchdog, stepped up to the council dais and launched a heated attack against Councilman John Drayman, accusing Drayman of using ADI (Advanced Development Investments) connections during construction of his condo.
Drayman’s condominium was damaged by water pipes bursting within the walls of the complex. The water pipes were not that of his condo but of a neighbor’s. The homeowners association arranged for repair and during this time Drayman decided to renovate his condo since construction was already being done to repair the water damage. 0He has stated several times how he hired a company that was later found to be connected as an ADI subcontractor. (ADI has built several low income housing units in Glendale, Los Angeles and other areas. They are under investigation concerning fraudulent activity.) Drayman received a recommendation from a friend who suggested a company that had also done independent work for the city in the past. Drayman has shown paperwork to the press regarding these repairs and is not, despite accusations by detractors, presently under investigation. Mohill, along with Barry Allen of Vanguard, have on several occasions accused Drayman of misconduct. Tuesday night’s meeting was no exception.
Citing allegations of code violations perpetrated by Drayman and Councilman Dave Weaver, Mohill also accused supporters of the city council as “blind” and insinuated that the city attorney was ineffectual against enforcing the city council. “Today our elected officials care more about receiving campaign contributions from well connected developers or having said developers do a condo makeover,” said Mohill.
As Mohill stepped off the dais, Drayman asked Mayor Ara Najarian for a few minutes to address Mohill’s allegations past and present. “I want to respond to a couple of things. Mr. Mohill usually leaves the room at this point and I want to respond to a couple of things before he does. I don’t want to be accused of doing this behind his back. As a matter of fact, I want him to be here,” began Drayman.
Drayman began by referring to a comparison made of him to Adolf Hitler that occurred last week by Mohill.
“That is interesting to me, whose mother’s family were holocaust survivors,” Drayman said. “I find that comment particularly offensive.”
Councilman Drayman then launched into an excoriating blast on Mohill’s campaign tactics and his own personal ethics. “This is the ugliest city council campaign I’ve ever seen,” said Drayman. “It’s not about issues. It’s about slander [and] libel.”
Addressing Mohill’s campaign platform of ethics and character, Drayman brought to light Mohill’s own criminal record.
Drayman, through investigation of Los Angeles County and Glendale city records, announced that Mohill had been arrested in December 2006 and convicted of trespass and for illegally hacking up a protected oak tree in a neighbor’s yard. Pictures taken by Mohill’s neighbor showing Mohill caught in the act were displayed to the audience and made public record.
“But it gets better because we’re talking about truth, ethics, and character, Mr. Mohill,” said Drayman before revealing another incident in Mohill’s past. “[Mohill] won’t tell you, but in 1987 he was arrested for something called a 647(a). That is solicitation of lewd acts in a public place. He was arrested and convicted of that. But less than a year later in 1988 he was arrested again for 647(a) – solicitation, or exposing himself. Usually [these arrests] happen in a sting operation.”
“You’re not going to get away with this, [Mr. Mohill]. Character and ethics are important.”
Drayman then handed the copies of Mohill’s arrest record to the City Clerk so it could made public record. “You might want to wash your hands after touching that,” quipped the Councilman.
When asked about the incident, Councilman Drayman responded, “There’s not a whole lot to add. Mr. Mohill has been attacking me at public forums and even on the street day after day. I didn’t challenge him; didn’t take him on.” But citing Mohill’s likening of Drayman to Hitler among other reasons prompted Drayman to strike back. “It was finally time to say something and set the record straight.”
Drayman also cited allegations of Mohill’s altercations with his neighbors. “I’ve received emails from his neighbors telling how he threatens them, how he bullies the neighborhood. So all these factors prompted me to take the next step and check his public record.”
Drayman also referred to Mohill as a puppet beholden to other interests, namely Allen. “You watch. Between now and the election Mohill, Allen, and the rest of those people will launch at me with everything but the kitchen sink. The thing about [Mohill and Allen] … is that diversion is their hallmark.”
Calls to Mike Mohill were not returned.
Drayman was confident that the people of Glendale would look beyond Mohill’s allegations. “My public record speaks for itself,” he said.