Plot twist: Neighbors suing Hadid now want him to halt demolition work

A judge had ordered the developer to start demolition by Feb. 1.

Jan.January 30, 2019 11:00 AM
Mohamed Hadid and half-built property on Strada Vecchia (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

The ongoing drama starring spec home developer Mohamed Hadid has once again veered off-script.

The Bel Air neighbors suing Hadid have filed a restraining order to halt any demolition work at the half-built Strada Vecchia mansion, the Daily Mail reported.

The move comes days before Hadid was scheduled to tear down the illegal third floor — a court-ordered action spurred by the neighbors’ complaints.

Now Bibi and Joe Horacek, who are suing alongside John and Judith Bedrossian, say Hadid should not be allowed to do any work on the property without constant supervision by city employees.

Last summer, they filed a civil suit against Hadid and the City of Los Angeles to get the approximately 30,000-square-foot property torn down. Then, on Jan. 22, they filed for a temporary restraining order.

Jeffrey Costell, Hadid’s attorney, said the neighbors are setting up a “ruse” to force the developer to delay the court-ordered demolition. “They are trying to put us between a rock and a hard place where Mr. Hadid ends up in a jail cell,” Costell said in court last week.

Hadid is a defendant in both a criminal and civil case in L.A. In late December, the judge presiding over the criminal case ordered the developer to remove the third story of the property by Feb. 1.

The judge presiding over the civil case — Judge Craig Karlan — has scheduled a hearing on Thursday to establish guidelines for any demolition work. In the meantime, he allowed Hadid to start interior demolition, such as drywall, but forbade him from doing any sort of structural work.

The FBI is also investigating the matter. In October, a city investigator said he had discovered evidence that a city employee has received “items of value” while working on the property. [DM] — Natalie Hoberman

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