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Landlord Under House Arrest Is Ailing

November 29, 2000|Kimi Yoshino, (714) 966-5890

A landlord ordered to live in his run-down Anaheim apartment complex may seek a reduced sentence after suffering an apparent stroke over the weekend, his attorney said.

Sam Menlo, owner of Ridgewood Gardens in Anaheim and numerous other properties in Southern California, remained hospitalized Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Menlo's medical condition is not entirely clear, and he continues to undergo numerous tests, his attorney, Kevin Mello, said. If the condition is serious, Mello said, he will ask a judge to modify Menlo's 60-day house-arrest sentence to "do something to make life easier on the man."

Menlo, a Los Angeles resident with extensive real-estate holdings, has a long history of health- and building-code violations and began serving his sentence at Ridgewood Gardens on Oct. 29. He is allowed to leave each weekend to observe the Sabbath.

Anaheim Deputy City Atty. Michael Burke said he is still awaiting results of Menlo's medical tests but said the landlord should serve the remainder of his sentence when he recovers.

"In order to satisfy me that there is something seriously wrong with Mr. Menlo, they are going to have to bring a doctor into court to explain this," Burke said.

"If it's just stress--if the stress of being out there and having legal action taken against him has caused him to suffer signs of stress--my feeling is that's what this is all about. He got himself into this predicament."

Burke said he will reevaluate his position if Menlo has a serious illness.

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