On Wednesday, The Sheet received a press release from the City of Bishop which included a 23 page attachment.
The attachment was a copy of a complaint filed Tuesday in Inyo County Superior Court. City of Bishop and the People of the State of California v. Aaron and Marianne Schat and associated businesses.
It was a “Complaint for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction, Permanent Injunction and Unlawful Business Practices.”
The complaint talks about illegal work performed at the following Schat properties: Sterling Heights, Whiskey Creek and the BofA building.
“Each of the Prooperties has been cited for various building, energy, fire, mechanical and municipal code violations, stemming from unpermitted and illegal construction.”
The complaint adds that the City’s building department has expended “disproportionate” amount of time and resources trying to assist and advise Defendants … in hopes of gaining voluntary compliance.”
However, “Defendants have remained dogged in their defiance to the City’s authority.”
“Plaintiffs seek to enjoin defendants from engaging in the conduct alleged in this Complaint and to recover fees and costs relating to this enforcement action.”
Allegations against Marianne and Aaron Schat include:
Acted in bad faith regarding the “actions of corporation or limited liability company.
Commingled funds and other assets
Improperly diverted corporate funds or assets
Failed to maintain minutes and/or adequate corporate records
Treated corporate assets as their own
Concealed and misrepresented the identities of responsible ownership, management and/or financial interests of the corporations
Disregarded legal formalities and failed to maintain arm’s length relationship among related entities including Defendants Marianne Schat’s and Aaron Schat’s status as chief executive officer, chief financial officer and secretary of their respective companies.
In relation to Sterling Heights alone, the allegations are fairly voluminous.
-Unpermitted installation of 37 water closets
-Visible water damage and signs of water intrusion
-Unpermitted demolition of structural components of the building
-Unpermitted installation of drywall
-Unpermitted electrical work
-Lead and asbestos testing needed
-Lack of kitchen areas in at least 18 rooms
-Bathrooms without occucpnacy sensors or humidistats
-Insufficient or inappropriate lighting
-Community bathrooms missing fans
-Community kitchne missing Type 2 hood for dishwashing area
-Non-functioning HVAC systems.
In summary, “Plaintiffs have no plain, adequate or speedy remedy at law in that the level and frequency of violations are of such a magnitude as to create an immediate, permanent and perpetual risk to the health and welfare of the public … “
In terms of relief, petitioners asked “That the Court order the temporary, preliminary and/or permanent closure of any business currently in operation at any of the four Properties until all corrective actions needed to bring said Properties into compliance with all laws are taken.”
If the Court sides with plaintiffs, that could jeopardize, at least temporarily, Whiskey Creek’s continued operations.
Pike and I attended the Mammoth Lakes Tourism Board meeting online on Wednesday. I took the first part. He took the rest. The highlights:
MLT Executive Director John Urdi reiterated the plan to handle the state’s decision to charge sales tax on the TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) fee. Businesses will continue to charge the 1.5% TBID, remitting 1.38% to the Town and keeping 0.12% to pay the tax.
It will result in a $250,000 loss in revenue for MLT.
TBID typically generates $7 million/year.
The next joint meeting between Mammoth’s Council and the MLT Board will take place April 5.
The latest storms induced the first two weather-related cancellations for commercial air service flights out of Bishop.
Mammoth Airport, said Hot Creek Aviation’s Pat Foster, has been closed since Thursday, February 23.
John Morris described the Sunday crawl-away traffic jam as “one of the messiest things I’ve ever seen,” but added, “Sure it was frustrating, but it was no one’s fault.”
MLT Board Chairman Jeremy Goico said he thought it was handled well.
Some local businesses benefited. Sue Ebersold of The Breakfast Club said with a chuckle that travelers stuck in line ran in and placed to-go orders and managed to get their food before their rides had traveled too far down the road.
In regard to air service, I thought this was interesting. Urdi said flights from Denver only get partial credit for seats filled if trips emanate from a different location.
So even though a guy from Boston may be specifically flying to Bishop through Denver, we don’t get full credit when it comes to the flight subsidy calculation.
According to Pike’s notes, the Denver flight has been so successful that moving forward MLT is considering doubling up on Denver flights as opposed to expanding into another market.