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BOYLE HEIGHTS : Owners Facing Trial on Hotel Violations

March 14, 1993|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The trial of a Mission Viejo couple accused of violating health, fire, building and safety codes in a residential hotel they own in Boyle Heights is scheduled to begin Monday in Los Angeles Municipal Court.

James V. Carone, 52, and Gwendolyn G. Carone, 43, are each charged in a 28-count complaint regarding the Hollenbeck View Hotel at 2033 E. 4th St. They pleaded not guilty in January.

Their attorney, Victor M. Salerno, said he plans to ask the court to postpone the trial for another week while he prepares a motion to dismiss the charges.

The Carones, he said, have made $50,000 in repairs to the 24-unit building since they bought it in August. He added that the problems existed long before the Carones purchased the hotel and that they should not be blamed for troubles they inherited.

Previous owners of the hotel have been prosecuted for violating city codes. One was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 500 hours of community service last year, according to Los Angeles City Atty. James Hahn's office.

"(Carone) is in marked contrast to these other owners because he's gone out and (made improvements). The whole quality of living in that building has improved," Salerno said.

The city Slum Housing Task Force inspected the building last November and found cockroach infestation, broken windows, a missing heater, leaky plumbing, exposed electrical wiring, broken windows, a damaged fire hose and a missing smoke detector.

Salerno said the Carones rejected an offer by Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael R. Wilkinson to reduce the charges to eight counts of violating city codes, under which they would have faced three years' probation and a fine of $8,000 to $10,000.

Wilkinson would not confirm the terms of the offer.

The Carones could face a maximum of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine on each count, Wilkinson said.

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