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Westside Digest

Hollywood : Ex-Apartment Owner Fined

April 12, 1990

The former owner of a Hollywood apartment house has been ordered to pay $35,286 in fines, penalties and restitution after pleading no contest to violations of fire, health and building and safety codes.

Charles A. Folcke, 45, entered his plea to 18 violations March 27, as the second day of his trial was about to get under way in Municipal Court, according to the city attorney's office. Folcke also was placed on two years' probation, the office said.

Folcke's company, Hollywood Terrace Investments, acquired the 52-unit apartment complex at 1921 N. Highland Ave. in May, 1982, and sold it last December without first repairing items cited in the violations, said Deputy City Atty. Michael R. Wilkinson, who handled the case.

The current owner has not repaired the building, which remains under investigation by the city's Housing Enforcement Task Force, according to a statement by the city attorney's office.

When criminal charges were filed July 6, the building was cited for fire code violations, such as defective and missing fire doors, missing and broken smoke detectors and defective fire houses, said City Atty. James K. Hahn.

"These types (of violations) . . . are always of particular concern because of the threat they pose to the safety of tenants in the event of a fire," Hahn said.

Other problems included blocked drains and cockroach infestation, Wilkinson said.

Folcke, of Irvine, said he relinquished operation of the building to partners long ago and was not aware of the conditions.

"I had no inkling until it was way too late that there was any problem," Folcke said. "Once I was made aware of the conditions, I was appalled and took action immediately. I thought the building was in the hands of capable people when it was not."

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