City Council President Herb Wesson's Son Received Deal on Koreatown Rent

Jay Yim, Oct. 28, 2019, 11:56 a.m.

The son of the embattled Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, is reported to have a special deal on his rent at a Los Angeles apartment building. Wesson apparently helped the real estate company's executive win approval of a high-rise in Koreatown.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Wesson had helped build the 27-story Koreatown residential tower through the review process of the city despite the city staff and the planning commission's opposition.

Meanwhile, Wesson's son was living in a 20-unit building which is owned by Rosewood Corp., a company headed by Michael Hakim, who is the tower developer, and one of his relatives.

A spokesperson for councilman Wesson, however, was not availble to comment on the situation.

An L.A. Superior Court judge in 2018 had temporarily stopped construction on the Koreatown project, but was overturned later.

Many tenants saw a rise in their montly rent, but Herb Wesson III (the councilman's son), went more than five years without receiving an increase in rent at the Rosewood Avenue apartment building.

Legal experts insisted the rental arrangement be investigated by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Under city law, elected officials of L.A. are prohibited from using their power and status to create a "private advantage or disadvantage, financial or otherwise, for any person."

When Wesson's office was reviewing the planned tower, which he supported, he was asked to comment on questions about whether or not his son received a rent discount, but he declined to answer.

Hakim initially said that he had no idea about Wesson III's apartment and was not financially interested in the building. However, he later told the Los Angeles Times that the apartment "had been rented at market rate."

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