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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Apartment Complex Owner Pleads Guilty to Code Violations

October 24, 2000

FULLERTON — The owner of a run-down Fullerton apartment complex, who previously had been sentenced to live in one of his properties, pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor violations of building and safety codes.

Sam Menlo agreed to fix up the Fullerton property and pay $6,850 in penalties if the city dropped other charges. The case had been set for jury selection Monday, court officials said.

Menlo is a Los Angeles-area resident reported to own about 65 Southland properties worth about $62 million.

On Oct. 2, he was sentenced to serve 60 days in his own 350-unit Ridgewood Gardens complex in Anaheim. The judge, who toured the property, said the 15 buildings were grossly neglected. Menlo begins that sentence Sunday and is required to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure he remains on the property. He also was ordered to upgrade one building a month using licensed contractors. If he violates the court's conditions, he could serve up to 18 months in jail.

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