The Real Deal Los Angeles

Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica faces $310K fine for campaign donations aimed at fighting rival

The allegedly illegal donations total almost $100K
August 09, 2017 05:35PM

The Huntley Hotel and its rival Fairmont Miramar Hotel (credit: The Huntley Hotel, Google Maps)

The Huntley Hotel, which sits blocks away from the Santa Monica coastline, might be one of the neighbors you don’t want to have — especially if you’re a competitor.

The hotel, owned by an entity attached to Sohrab Sassounian, reimbursed its employees for nearly $100,000 of political contributions aimed at fighting off a rival hotel two blocks away, a report by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission alleges. The report proposes forcing the Huntley to pay a penalty of $310,000 for 62 violations, the maximum possible penalty under state law.

The donations in question went to candidates who might be against the expansion of the nearby Fairmont Miramar Hotel, the report alleges.

The Fairmont plans to replace its current 10- and 12- story buildings with a 21-story tower and two four- and six-story buildings, Curbed reported. The expansion would greatly increase the number of rooms Huntley competes with.

Candidates who received the contributions, including Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer, have not been reported for wrongdoing, according to Santa Monica Council member Terry O’Day. [Curbed] – Naiwen Tian