Council caller highlights Ara Najarian’s ties to commercial developers

At the October 5, 2021 Glendale City Council meeting, we saw Ara Najarian’s latest scheme to support commercial developers and disadvantage land use appellants by manipulating city ordinance. In this case, his proposal would require the recusal of councilmembers who have received any donation from members of an appealing party. Though the report presented to Council mentioned only board members of homeowner’s associations (HOAs), discussions included adding restrictions on homeowners, historical societies, neighbors filing development appeals, and those living within 500 feet of a proposed project.

Najarian’s flimsy argument for this attack on appellants is that City Council is a “quasi-judicial” body (which he treats as synonymous to judicial), and therefore must place the same restrictions on neighbors that donate to candidates as they do upon developers who make donations to our politicians. Completely ignoring the fact that it was developer’s propensity for bribing city officials that inspired restrictions upon them, he framed his proposal designed to burden appellants and assist developers as an act of ‘even-handedness.’ Najarian also used a citation of a recent California case (Petrovich Development Co., LLC v. City of Sacramento) from which he omitted several critical facts to suit his agenda.

During discussions of the agenda item, one caller to City Council highlighted some of the questionable ties to developers Ara Najarian has nurtured during his 16 years on City Council.

Some points mentioned were:

  • A $25,000 donation to Ara Najarian’s 2017 campaign from Southland Transit (Najarian is on the METRO Board), and a $1,000 donation from Pacific Town Center Development in 2009
  • A 2010 LA Times article reporting Glendale City Council authorized roughly $13 M against staff recommendations to Advance Development Investment Inc. (ADI) for a development on San Fernando Rd. ADI subcontractors flooded Glendale City Council members with donations totaling over $100,000 before the decision. In the article, Najarian offers the excuse “I just thought it was a nice contribution from someone in the construction trade” — Builder got millions from Glendale despite concerns about project

Read more about Ara Najarian’s donor, ADI, here: (April, 2011) Quarter-Billion-Dollar RICO Scam Alleged|in L.A. & Glendale Housing Developments

And here: (February, 2016) Disclosures reveal development company’s ties to Glendale city officials

At the council meeting, Mr. Najarian claimed he wasn’t trying to “slip anything by anyone” when other councilmembers became suspicious of the legal urgency and necessity he was stressing. However, his omission of critical facts in the Petrovich case, and misrepresentation of the original Superior Court of California ruling regarding councilmembers as ‘judges,’ indicates that he was doing exactly that.

The Petrovich case will stand in perpetuity, and will be referenced in every court matter involving 14th Amendment Constitutional rights and Equal Protection to a fair hearing. It is a also textbook example of a Brown Act violation; the same act that Ara Najarian is trying to reinvent, tailored for Glendale as a tool to disadvantage land use appellants in the name of ‘even-handedness.’

Ara Najarian has been in office for 16 years. How much longer will Glendale tolerate a politician who schemes to benefit himself and commercial developers at the expense of our environment, neighborhoods and quality of life?

Author: GCGW admin

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