Letter: Hypocrisy of City Management Stunning


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

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  1. I’m glad I wasn’t there 💔well let’s hope by the time are family comes to visit on fourth of July everything will be okay I’m not going to hold my breath any time soon 😂🤣😆 alls well that ends well 😉😘✌️have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend Lisa !! God Bless America 🇺🇸❤️👌👍

  2. Hatfields vs McCoys, response by Keystone Cops. Mo has some explaining to do before a Judge so what’s next a Kangaroo Court? Laguna needs a city process that respects our General Plan, a Council to honor Residents, and a new CM to execute policy on behalf of LB Residents.

  3. Michelle Monda, the only reason that makes any sense for this miscarriage of justice IMO is that Shohreh Dupuis wanted to give Mo time to see if Mo and his armed thugs could force the Investco Group to capitulate to Mo Mo’s abslolutely false assertion that he was wrongfully terminated. The assignment document that Mo approved I believe clearly states that Mo when appointed as administrative manager could be dismissed by the managing manager for any reason and therefore no reason. Mo agreed to this as the basis of his being hired. Also in addition to this the City had the new lease for the Laguna Hotel signed by E. Merrit the Merrit manager which gave the investment group a lease on the Hotel Laguna for 33 years with options. The 14 West property again with MO’s signature was transferred along with other properties to the investor group. A freshman in high school reading those documents could not have possibly come to any conclusion other than Mo and his armed thugs were criminally trespassing.

    While Kohn, the City Attorney, may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer Mayor Whalen has a law degree from Berkeley. That is why I am speculating that the two council members(Mayor and Mayor pro tem) were doing Shohreh‘s bidding to give Mo and his armed thugs 17 hours to terrorize the owners, the employees and hotel customers with small children possibly to force rage investor group toreinstate Mo. Remember these are the same two Council members that voted against releasing documents on Shohreh’s traffic citatation. Guess the two thought they had had their usual 3-2 majority which for four years had been completely ignoring the residents wishes IMO.

    I believe the City is liable for their actions perhaps even conspritorally so. I hope that the investor group sues both Mo and the City and any that employee who may have been traumatized does the same thing. Especially the young lady who I believe indicated that she felt she was being forcibly held against her will.

    This is a stain on the leadership of our city government and hence on all of us. I truly hope that the two new council members do the right thing and vote against extending the contract of the City Manager and that she be immediately terminated. This along with the departure of the City Attorney would be a great start towards transparency and honesty IMO. Hopefully the upcoming election will continue the recovery.


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