Earlier this week, defendants Larchmont Bungalow and its owner Albert Mizrahi were granted another continuance in their criminal case after defense lawyers requested more time to present yet another motion urging the court to invalidate the charges filed against the defendants by the City of Los Angeles.
In granting this latest extension, Commissioner Elizabeth Harris agreed to resolve all matters, either setting a trial date or dismissing the case, on May 20, 2015. Commissioner Harris also advised Mr. Mizrahi’s longtime defense attorney Alan Fenster that there would be no further continuances. Lawyers for Mr. Mizrahi have presented seven motions overs the past three years, and all of the motions have been denied.
Objecting to this latest request for additional time, LA Deputy City Attorney Serena Christion said the city was revoking all previous offers that had been made to settle the criminal charges.
“There are no deals, this case will either get dismissed or go to trial,” Christion said. “Mr. Mizrahi has never made any attempt to comply with the law. His legal team has only attempted to change the law.”
Previously, the city had offered to drop the case if Mr. Mizrahi would plead guilty to the three charges against him and bring the illegal restaurant into compliance, then operate for 18 months, during which time he could seek to gain the necessary approvals from the city’s Planning Department to operate legally as a take-out food service establishment.
In 2010 The City Attorney’s office charged Mr. Mizrahi with three counts: failing to comply with orders from a city agency; providing false information; and continuing to operate without a certificate of occupancy. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Mizrahi filed a civil lawsuit against the city challenging the revocation of his certificate of occupancy which stopped the criminal case for two years while the matter was adjudicated in civil court. In January 2012, the court upheld the city’s enforcement action clearing the way for the criminal case to proceed.
Larchmont Buzz: Criminal Case Held Over to March