The hypocrisy and malfeasance of city management is stunning. At its May 16 meeting, city council proclaimed June 2 National Gun Violence Awareness Day in Laguna. Yet on May 2, fully knowing that Mo Honarkar was no longer the owner/operator of 14 West hotel and Hotel Laguna, senior city officials allowed him and 16 armed subordinates to storm violently into the hotels.
Mayor Bob Whalen, Pro Tem Sue Kempf, City Manager Shohreh Dupuis and City Attorney Phil Kohn all had documented evidence of hotel ownership and operation by Investco in April. Yet at 6:30 a.m., when Honarkar broke into 14 West with guns, criminally trespassed, destroyed property, alleged assault on hotel staff and held staff hostage in a locked room, all in an effort to undo his removal as hotel manager in March, the city manager decided, incredibly, that it was merely an unsettled “civil dispute” and left staff, guests and police at the mercy of armed thugs. Three days later, a court concluded, based on the same evidence the city possessed, that Honarkar’s legal claim was dubious and ordered him to stay away from the hotels on pain of contempt.
So, I guess city management only worries about gun violence when it doesn’t happen here. Regardless of the pretext for Honarkar’s armed invasion — essentially a wrongful termination claim – he and his criminal gang should have been immediately arrested, or at the very least removed, after the 6:30 a.m. police call. Because they didn’t, the Honarkar gang then repeated their armed assault at Hotel Laguna. Three times police were called. As a result, three times, there were no police available for dispatch, and at least one DUI was ignored. Investco repeatedly begged the city for help, pointing out that it had no guns – only Honarkar’s criminal group did. Yet, the city manager instead punished Investco and innocent hotel guests and employees for the armed attack on them by shutting down the hotels and kicking out the guests.
City management: why did you tolerate such bold-faced criminality? Why is the favoritism so blatant for Honarkar, even to the point of ignoring his blatantly criminal conduct? Why are you not taking your own gun violence proclamation seriously? Residents: why are you not furious at city leaders for ignoring their legal duty and endangering lives? What if someone had been killed?
Michèle Monda, Laguna Beach