It looks like Mohamed Hadid may be headed to trial after all.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge rejected the Beverly Hills developer’s attempts to delay proceedings Tuesday in order to bring his controversial spec house at 901 Strada Vecchia up to code. Instead, he ordered that jury selection for a trial would begin May 30.
The decision marks an about-face from two weeks ago, when Hadid’s attorneys told the Courier that their client was close to a guilty plea with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office. But with jury selection set in place, a deal now seems unlikely, the Beverly Courier reported.
The case centers around allegations that Hadid failed to halt construction and demolish illegal features of a brand new Bel-Air mansion. He’s been charged with illegally using land, building without a permit and failure to obey orders from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.
Hadid submitted plans for revising the behemoth project last week, but Tina Hess of the L.A. City Attorney’s office said they are far from adequate. Hadid has “thumbed his nose” at residents for years, she said at the hearing.
Hadid’s attorneys argued that the developer would have trouble securing a loan to finish the project in compliance with city standards in the face of a potential criminal conviction, but Hess countered that Hadid only recently committed to another project, for which he’s already secured financing, according to the Courier.
If convicted, Hadid would not face jail time, Hess said late last month. Instead, he might face a fine, public service and suspension from building in L.A. [BHC] — Cathaleen Chen