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LONG BEACH : 12-Story Hotel Accused of Safety Violations

March 10, 1994

Operators of a 430-room Los Angeles hotel are facing criminal charges after an investigation into violations of fire, health and safety standards, authorities said this week.

The 12-story Frontier Hotel on West 5th Street is one of the larger hotels to prompt a criminal filing since the Los Angeles city attorney's Housing Enforcement Unit was established five years ago, Deputy City Atty. Janet Jackson said.

Owners Michael Frontiera, 64, of San Pedro, his sons Joseph Frontiera, 37, of Rancho Palos Verdes and Robert Frontiera, 34, of Long Beach, and hotel manager David Michael Johnson, 36, of Dove Canyon, are expected to be charged at their arraignment April 7 with 23 fire, health and building and safety code violations.

Robert Frontiera acknowledged that the hotel needed work, but said the owners had been given insufficient time to complete an estimated $280,000 in repairs demanded by the city last September.

But Ted Goldstein, spokesman for the city attorney's office, said, "There's exposed live electrical wiring, an over-fused electrical panel, defective electrical and plumbing fixtures. . . . It's not as though we're asking for luxury."

Reopened by the current owners in 1979 after being closed for 22 years, the Frontier Hotel houses low-income residents and welfare recipients.

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