ILLEGAL BOARDING HOME OPERATORS FACE JAIL, FINES AND PROBATION
PASADENA, Calif.—Property owners in the City of Pasadena who operate illegal, unlicensed, unsafe or over-crowded boarding houses will be prosecuted, with owners facing stiff penalties, jail time, probation and thousands of dollars in fines.
During the past week, property owners of two such facilities found out in Pasadena Superior Court what that means for them. The charges in these cases stem from increased enforcement in 2013 by the City to better serve and protect the public. Assistant City Prosecutor Kimery Shelton handled the cases on behalf of the People.
“Pasadena will not tolerate the owners of illegal, unsafe, and over-crowded boarding houses who believe they can operate with impunity at the expense of public safety,” said City Attorney/City Prosecutor Michele Beal Bagneris. “The City will not allow these property owners to become unjustly enriched while blatantly violating the law and endangering the public.”
On April 7, Jeanette Broussard pled no contest to, and was convicted of, 23 counts regarding operating an illegal boarding house at 1385 El Sereno Avenue where up to 19 people were living. As part of her sentence, Ms. Broussard will pay more than $2,000 in fines; serve 36 months of probation; not use the property as a boarding house in violation of City codes, and submit to all inspections of the property by the City at any time without notice during the probation.
Ms. Broussard must pay the City more than $3,900 in costs of abatement and she faces eight months in county jail if she commits any violations during her three-year probation. A former tenant, meanwhile, faces two felony murder charges and 15 counts of attempted murder for his alleged role in setting the November 1, 2012 arson fire that killed two other tenants at the property.
In the second case, husband-and-wife Nicholas Benson Mnkandla and Eva Meyers on April 10 both pled no contest to, and were convicted on, numerous charges of operating an illegal boarding home and other housing code violations regarding their property at 280 W. Washington Boulevard.
Mr. (Benson) Mnkandla was convicted of 14 counts—five for operating an illegal boarding house and nine code violations for substandard housing. Ms. Meyers was convicted on three counts—one for operating the illegal boarding house and two for substandard housing violations.
Mr. Mnkandla received an 18-month county jail sentence, suspended; three years of probation; 500 hours of community service; a $500 fine plus penalty assessments, and one day in jail. Ms. Meyers’ sentence included a $200 fine plus penalty assessments; 36 months of probation; 350 hours of community service and one day in jail.
Mr. Mnkandla and Ms. Meyers must pay more than $2,700 in costs of abatement to the City and may not use the property as a boarding house in violation of City codes. The defendants will also have to submit to inspections without notice, make the necessary repairs and bring the property up to code.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2014 #025-14
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager’s Office, (626) 744-4755, firstname.lastname@example.org