By Mary O’KEEFE
The owner of the Honolulu Manor Senior Apartments appeared in Glendale court on Wednesday once again to share an update on the progress of repairing two elevators at the complex.
The City of Glendale brought criminal charges against Honolulu Manor owner Elias Shokrian and Montrose LP in June after residents contacted the city in May to report that both elevators in the complex had stopped working. But the problems began in October 2018 when the first of the two elevators ceased working. At the time residents shared their concerns that if the other elevator broke down several of them would be trapped in their apartments because they could not navigate the building’s stairs. Then over Memorial Day the second, and only working, elevator broke down.
Since then the owner and his attorney, along with the City of Glendale attorney David Ligtenberg, have appeared before Judge Beverly Bourne to provide updates on the progress of getting both elevators repaired and functioning.
“My inspectors went out to the [Honolulu Manor Senior Apartments] on [Monday] and one elevator is working and working well,” Ligtenberg said.
He added it appeared the second elevator was being worked on, too.
“We are very happy with the progress,” he told Judge Bourne.
Shokrian’s attorney Thomas Sands asked Judge Bourne for a dismissal of the criminal case since the repairs are being completed.
The judge said she would not dismiss stating the issue has been going on for “quite some time.” She spoke of the suffering faced by the residents who are elderly with many using either wheelchairs or walkers.
Sands also asked if his client could be excused from the next court date of Nov. 21, allowing only his attorney to represent him. Judge Bourne denied that request as well again referencing the plight of the residents versus the “inconvenience” of Shokrian’s appearance in court.
Outside the courtroom, Shokrian told Ligtenberg that he had spent over $140,000 to repair the elevators. He argued that the case should be dismissed. The repairs had been difficult to find, he said.
“They know we are doing everything humanly possible,” Shokrian said in an interview with CVW. “We already sent letters of apology, and gift cards [to residents].”
He added he is not trying to neglect the responsibility of completing the elevator repairs required by the City of Glendale.
“We take pride in our [building],” he said. “We have owned this building for 15 years and never had an issue. This is the only time.”
He added he did not break the elevator “on purpose.”
Ligtenberg told Shokrian that he had relayed to Judge Bourne that the City was pleased with the elevators; however, it is still important to see the repairs are completed.
For Judge Bourne, there was no question; the case would not be dismissed and Shokrian is required to be back in court for pretrial on Nov. 21.