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West Grand Hotel and Owners Sued By Oakland City Attorney
by Lynda Carson ( tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com )
Tuesday Aug 12th, 2014 5:41 AM
The West Grand Hotel is located at 641 W. Grand Avenue, between Northgate Ave., and Martin Luther King Jr Way. It is a single room occupancy (SRO) hotel for low-income and disabled persons with long-time connections to the local community.

West Grand Hotel and Owners Sued By Oakland City Attorney

By Lynda Carson - August 12, 2014

Oakland - On August 4, 2014, the Oakland City Attorney, Barbara J. Parker, filed a nine page lawsuit against the West Grand Hotel, including Oakland JMO LLC, Omid Razi, Richard Spitler and Mi Hwa Spitler.

According to a press release from the Office of the Oakland City Attorney, the lawsuit (Case Number RG14735473) filed in Alameda County Superior Court, asked the court to declare the West Grand Hotel a public nuisance and to shut it down for a one-year period. The lawsuit also seeks damages for years of unpaid Rent Program service fees and asks for substantial civil penalties and damages from the owners. The lawsuit asks the court to appoint a receiver to take control of the property, relocate the tenants and make necessary repairs, with the owners responsible for all costs. Additionally, the lawsuit asks the court to order the owners to live at the West Grand Hotel until the nuisance is abated, but is not specific as to where the owners should reside at in the hotel.

The West Grand Hotel is located at 641 W. Grand Avenue, between Northgate Ave., and Martin Luther King Jr Way. It is a single room occupancy (SRO) hotel for low-income and disabled persons with long-time connections to the local community.

The lawsuit was filed against the West Grand Hotel and it's owner/s for failing to abate building code violations, failure to pay rent program service fees, violation of hotel, motel, and rooming house operating standards, violation of hotel rates and registration requirements, and additionally the City of Oakland is claiming that the hotel is a drug nuisance in the neighborhood.

In essence, the City is alleging that the residents and their friends at the hotel are involved in criminal activities, including drug related activities, and that the owner/s of the hotel are slumlords. According to sources, the hotel was mostly filled with people of color at the time the lawsuit was filed around a week ago, and as of 7:35pm on August 11, the phone number for the hotel was no longer in service. No one was available for comment.

Omid Razi was named in the lawsuit, and has a personal injury law office in Beverly Hills called the Razi Law Group. Numerous websites list Richard Spitler as the manager of the hotel, and according to Advanced Back Ground Checks, Mi Hwa Spitler resides in San Leandro, and is also known as Mi Pitler.

According to the lawsuit that was filed, the City of Oakland believes that Oakland JMO LLC, Omid Razi, Richard Spitler and Mi Hwa Spitler own and or manage the West Grand Hotel.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Oakland JMO LLC is a corporation organized in the State of Georgia, is currently not in good standing, and is not licensed to do business in the State of California.

According to the Oakland City Attorney: "For years, the West Grand Hotel at 641 West Grand Avenue has been a nuisance to the neighborhood and a danger to the dozens of people who live there. The property has long been a center of drug activity, including sales, storage and distribution of cocaine and heroin. Since April 2013, Oakland police have arrested at least 23 people for drug sales and other drug crimes connected to the property, and officers have recovered firearms and large amounts of drugs packaged for sale inside the building."

There is no mention in the lawsuit that the owners or managers of the hotel have been arrested for allowing the alleged criminal activity to occur on their property at the hotel.

Additionally, it appears that the poor people residing at the hotel are being demonized by the City of Oakland, and are being displaced from their housing, and possibly from West Oakland which the City and wealthy developers want to gentrify under the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP).

At the time the lawsuit was filed against the West Grand Hotel, the City of Oakland simply claimed that dozens of people lived there as tenants or occupants, but there is no mention in the lawsuit as to how many tenants they are actually talking about. Nor does the lawsuit mention how many rooms are in the single room occupancy hotel, where people share bathrooms throughout the building.

According to sources the occupants of the hotel have been residing in dangerous slum-like conditions, and the lawsuit alleges that there are numerous code violations throughout the building.

Records for Oakland JMO LLC, could not be found with the Secretary of State in California, but according to ISHHC.org, Oakland JMO LLC is registered in the State of Georgia. The lawsuit also confirms that Oakland JMO LLC, is registered in the State of Georgia.

The entity creation date for Oakland JMO LLC is May 24, 2012, and the registered agent on file for this company is Arlett Akhourian, address located at 230 Spring Street Nw, Space 110b Atlanta, Georgia 30303. However, the principal address for the corporation is located at 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 450, in Beverly Hills.

Attorneys listed with the Razi Law Group include Omid Razi, who also speaks Farsi and Spanish, and Meg Razi who also speaks Farsi. Omid Razi was admitted to the Bar in California on December 30, 2002.

Meg Mojgan Razi was admitted to the Bar during June of 2005, and also has her own law office at 2003 Riverside Drive in Los Angeles, according to records.

The Razi Law Group's main Office is located at 8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 610, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. The firm also has office locations in Carlsbad, Sacramento, Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Jose, and in Oakland at 1300 Clay Street, Suite 600.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com

§Update: West Grand Hotel Still Occupied
by Lynda Carson Tuesday Aug 12th, 2014 5:48 PM
Update: West Grand Hotel Still Occupied

Tuesday August 12, 2014

Oakland - According to an eye witness report by way of cell phone, at this moment the West Grand Hotel is still occupied. There is a person at the front desk, and residents have been leaving and entering the building during the past few moments. The hotel is a three story building, with several signs up front with one sign saying "Now Renting," and another sign that said "No Visitors."

At around 5:30pm, a Mercedes Benz pulled up in front of the building with 2 Middle Eastern looking people stepping out of the vehicle, that went into the front door of the building. The eye witness believes that they may be the owners of the building.

Stay tuned for more to come...

Lynda Carson

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Update: Razi Omid Aug. 13, 2014 / 2:30pm Scheduled Court AppearanceLynda Carson Tuesday Aug 12th, 2014 8:37 PM