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tv   [untitled]    April 23, 2012 3:30am-4:00am PDT

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citation. according to personnel and my visit, the establishment has not been in operation, perhaps since the 22nd of march. dph believes the board should not repeal the decision for the revocation because three reasons -- it is illegal not to pay wages. in addition to that, waste of sex york -- wage theft affects your health. income is the strongest indicator of health and disease. it causes stress and the inability to pay housing, food, and health care. the workers at panchita's are
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being affected. you might argue his finances and help might be affected if we were to close his business. i think the differences that he had many opportunities to prevent his permit from being revoked but he did not take advantage of those. oles has been working with marenco for two years to submit his papers to show that he is in compliance with the minimum wage ordinance but he has not done so. i can name at least three instances where we try to help them comply -- him comply but he has not taken those opportunities. for example, the workers made a complete -- complaint and there was a settlement in 2011 and he did not attend that hearing. on the day of the health
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department hearing, two days before a issued a notice for him to appear and instructed him to come because the fate of his permit would be decided. unfortunately, he did not come. the most egregious incident was the fact that after we revoke his permit and after i posted the notice of closure, that today he continued to operate and the office of labor standards enforcement had to call the police to close the business. he had a bankruptcy hearing on the 16th of april, i am sorry, in february, he also did not appear. when the department of industrial relations issued the stop work citation, he remained open again.
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the inspector offered -- issued a second citation and he refused to sign it. i struggle with this job that i have with assisting with labor law compliance because closing a business does not help the workers recouped their wages nor does it help the employer pay wages. it is not good for the economy but in this case, due to the owner's flagrant irresponsibility, i think dph did not to collaborate with wage that any longer and had no choice but to revoke the permit. i am asking the commissioners to sustain the revocation. if you have any questions, a representative from the office is also here to answer them.
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>> a question about the penalties. what are the total amount to do? -- amounts due? >> there is one from the san francisco of labor standards enforcement. >> how much is that one? ok. >> now there are penalties from the state department. i believe that is over $190,000. >> over time, back pay, the earlier to -- >> that is just a penalties along. -- alone. >> does that include wages due? speaking to the microphone. -- speak into the microphone.
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>> hero's for employees $24,000, including overtime, minimum wage, -- >> had any of that in paid? >> nothing. >> the penalties are four thousand dollars and then the wages are $24,000 each? >> total. >> thank you. >> has your department in its primary mission found anything with of the facilities or operations of mr. marenco? >> how we first discovered this case -- >> your primary mission. >> i am about to explain it. he came up for one of our hearings for failure to pay his annual license fee as well.
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in terms of sanitation, and he is doing ok. >> is their public comment on this item? step forward. >> the two minutes each. >> good evening, my name is maria. i was a worker at panchita's. [speaking spanish] i am here to say that this is unfair that businesses like this can continue to operate because it is not just me that has not been paid.
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other workers as well. [speaking spanish] he, to me, is not a good employer because he does not respect all laws. as he has not respected his employees. [speaking spanish] it is not fair he can continue a business when he has not shown he can pay us what he was supposed to. i am here representing my co- workers as well to say that we would like to see some kind of
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a justice in this case. that is all i would like to ask for. she was also saying that she would like to receive your assistance in this case. >> is she aware that it is likely she will not see a penny of where she is owed it? -- what she is owed? >> if i may speak as well. my name is tiffany crane and and a co-director of young workers united. we are a nonprofit in san francisco. we have worked for 10 years to work against situations like this of wage theft. we have seen a number of cases like this where workers are paid under the minimum wage, it is rampant in this city. we have laws to protect workers.
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however, if this continues to happen, in many situations, our organization is able to talk to workers,, negotiate with employers, and receive the pay that is due and to change and improve working conditions. this situation, we do not want to close businesses. we have a restaurant guide dedicated to responsible employers. we do want people to have good jobs. but when we see someone is not willing to respect a process or the laws or his employees, we do not believe that kind of a business is a business that it should operate in san francisco. he has proven over and over to not respect the laws. yesterday we were also at a hearing where he swore under oath that he did not go workers
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money. this is a person who is willing to lie under oath about whether or not he is complying with of the law. >> how much was the appellant paying the workers on an hourly? >> it was a salary of $200 a week for full-time work. >> any other public comment? we will start the rebuttal. mr. marenco, you have three more minutes. >> i would love a professional interpreter to say the right whatever the person said. at this point, we have complied with the paperwork that the
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person requested me. to close a business is not good for this situation. but the decision is yours. it is not mine. i just tried to comply with all the paperwork. i close to the doors -- closed the doors and i tried to do the paperwork the best that i can. the person that sent me a fine for a labor standard for 100 or something, i would not be able to provide. i called to my agent and he sent it back to me. i have it on my website.
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i can show you here but i am not able to print it. if you would like to take a look. >> you can put it on your overhead. >> the person is coming. ok. this is the first page. the personnel who is coming to give me a citation is coming sometime in april. that is the issue of march 12. i'm talking with the the agents
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before that date. -- that day. pretty much this is all regulation. i am just trying to comply whatever they request to me. even before i opened the business. the person told me i would need this one. whatever the request of me, is the first thousand dollars for the fee.
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order they told me, to be able to try to give me the permit. >> your time is up. >> i have a question. do you own any other restaurants in san francisco? >> this is the only one. >> again, karen yu. >> your time is up. [laughter] >> i have little to say except we want the businesses to stay open. our director at the hearing, the first director said, please, apply for a long period continue to provide papers to show us you have a loan to go work on this. come back in acome back in a mo.
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the day he was supposed to bring us that documentation to show he got a loan, he did not show up. i think this is a repeated pattern. i would encourage mr. marenco to do his best to comply with these laws so he can apply for another permit and open again. we request that you sustain it revocation of the permit. commissioner fung: is there a time limit where one can -- one is prohibited from applying for a permit? >> you mean once a business is closed? commissioner fung: is there any time limit he would face to reopen? >> once it is revoked, it is revoked. right now, his permit is not revoked, because he applied for this appeal, as i understand it.
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commissioner fung: but you are asking us to sustain the revocation. vice president hwang: assuming the revocation hold up, how must -- how much time must pass before he can apply for another permit? >> i am not sure. commissioner fung: no time limit? >> i do not think so. i did not understand. president garcia: i think it is time left, so please come up. you have to identify yourself again. >> i am here with the applicant. we gave mr. marenco many opportunities to come forward and resolve this problem. as the office enforcement, we also want businesses to continue working. for that reason, we give employers an opportunity to move to a settlement and a payment
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plan, and do that kind of thing. we met on october 28 for the first time. when we met, one of the things he said was the restaurant is prosperous. the restaurant only makes 350 -- from 250 to 350 a week. i just wanted to bring you to this mansion. -- mention. i believe revoking the license will be even better for him. thank you. president garcia: thank you. >> commissioners, the matter is submitted. vice president hwang: this is an open and shut case, in my opinion. i commend the city agencies, the department of health and omc for
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your efforts. working with an employer which has repeatedly failed to show up and do the right thing -- pending comments from my commissioners, i will move to uphold the revocation. president garcia: it looks like there are no other comments. commissioner fung: well -- president garcia: i am sorry. commissioner fung: i was thinking. it appears, given the extremely long time frame that has occurred through this process, not much else is going to happen. while i am sympathetic to this employer, who works hard in is going to lose out on the money -- and is going to lose out on the money -- that is it. president garcia: thank you. >> vice-president, would that be
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on the basis of the reasons stated in the dph order? vice president hwang: yes. >> when you are ready. >> we have a motion from the vice president to deny the appeal, uphold this revocation on the bases listed in the -- basis listed in the dph order. commissioner fung: aye. president garcia: aye. commissioner hillis: aye. commissioner hurtado: aye. >> the boat is 5-0. the revocation is upheld on that basis. >> item 7 has been rescheduled to april 25, so we will move on to itunes 8 -- to items 8 a and b. both were filed by junel solach,
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versus the department of building inspection. it protests the issuance on february 14, 2012 to peter fealy living trust, protesting the issuance of an electrical permit and a plumbing permits. -- and a plubming permit. we will begin with the appellant's up -- attorney. >> eunice chang appearing on behalf of junel solbach. this board is to hear appeals if the health and safety of the public will be impacted by the granting of a permit. in this case, we are dealing with a repeat offender, a land owner who has a pattern of disobedience to the decisions of the department of building
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inspection. the 45th avenue apartment which is the subject to this appeal -- in 2009, the landlord filed a permit to demolish this illegal permit, but he never did. instead, he rented out to an unsuspecting tenant, my client, junel solbach. he has a property on 47th avenue where he went to the same process. it was an illegal unit. in 1996, there was an order from the department of building inspection and a restriction on the deed that said you cannot rent out the illegal units. you have to remove it. in 1996, he filed a permit that said, "yes, i am going to remove it." in 2012, the same building -- the illegal unit has not been removed. he is renting it out. he is profiting from all these illegal units. the san francisco board of appeals has an interest in
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protecting the health and safety of unsuspecting tenants, who are going to live in unsafe, illegal units. the city has a competing interest to make sure the orders and decisions of the department of building inspection are followed. if the permits are granted, there is no guarantee he will follow it. what he will do is maybe read it to another and inspecting -- unsuspecting tenant. our proposal is, if he has been getting all this benefit from illegal units, legalize it. make him make a safe unit, so that tenants will live there and it will be safe and legal. if that is not feasible, we are asking that a restriction be placed on his sleeves -- on his lease. at least the public will find out "i cannot rent this. this is illegal." commissioner fung: counselor,
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that is a relatively novel argument. your client is a student? >> yes. commissioner fung: and the term is up in june? >> it was canceled, and then it goes from month to month. commissioner fung: i am talking about her school. >> she graduates in may. commissioner fung: graduate in may? >> yes. president garcia: not that this board will do it -- come back, if you would. if we were to end up continuing this until early june, would that benefit your client? >> i think that is fine. but my client, i think what her plans are -- she is going to work and figure out what she plans to do after she graduates. president garcia: thank you. >> we can hear from the permit holder.
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>> good evening, mr. president, members of the board. my name is steven mcdonald. i represent the permit holder and respondent. i have a very short break. i was just retained yesterday. mr. president, may i submit it? >> the board rules only allow briefs be submitted -- president garcia: you are going to have to do it orally. >> let us assume the facts are not in dispute. we have a garden variety in law unit, a sunset special, if you will. this cannot be a novel issue, that this board is being asked to legalize an illegal unit. i would be very surprised if the zoning administrator or any other agency says differently. otherwise, you could legalize the tens of thousands of other
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illegal in law units -- in-law units. we have a case in which commissioner fung is quoted, in 1988-'89, in which the zoning administrator sued this board because it did approve the legalization of an illegal unit. commissioner fung: i just granted it. >> that is right. i will provide the citation. i have a feeling this board is very familiar. city and county of san francisco versus board of permit appeals, 1989. this party has all of the relief that she needs, all the damages she can sit in civil court. we would not propose putting is over, simply because there is a rule in san francisco that if her tenancy lasts more than a year, she is entitled to
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relocation money. we think this is a delaying tactic. we have obtained the permits. we have issued her a notice of termination. she is entitled to whatever claims and theories of fraud she would like to bring. those damages and attorney fees -- all of that. the light in this process is improper -- delaying this process is improper and unfair, and it is beyond the authority of this board to legalize this unit. president garcia: with those same revocation fees -- relocation fees apply before hair year -- before her year is up if the landlord was to allow her to stay until the school term is up? >> we will stipulate she may stay until the end of her school year. i do not expect to get her out before june.
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if she will export -- if she will accept the stipulation, there is a record. president garcia: that requires no waiver of their rights? >> none at all. we do not request any waiver. just that she be out in that time. i do not think i can get her out. she has a right to court. it is just that notice be served before one year. president garcia: would you like to address serious allegations that in the past this landlord, your client, has gone to this procedure and then rented again when he has represented that his intention is to rid himself of an illegal unit, but instead is using that property as an eviction process? >> i had not intended, because i think these facts mislead the board -- you can paint the most sympathetic picture of the tenant or the most egregious picture for the landlord. it is not going to change the
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legal constraint on this board. however, what is apparent is that the owner, mr. fealy senior, suffers from dementia. his sons have taken over the management, have taken counsel for the purpose of seeking a conservatorship. what happened in 2007 -- the elder mr. fealy believed, because apparently the contractor told him, that the unit was legalized. two and a half years later, the suns, relying on that misconception, rented the unit. the other unit, two blocks away, there was a similar unit in there that had been rented out. it may or may not be occupied. the only evidence we have of that is counsel drove by and took some pictures. i think it is misleading and not very helpful to this panel to look at what might be happening
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to and a half blocks away in another building. there are other arguments on our side, in terms of his dementia. we have begun to remedy the situation at this point. commissioner hillis: how many units are in this building? >> this is a single family home. it has a second illegal unit. commissioner hillis: 1 not try to legalize that unit? -- why not try to legalize that unit? >> two units. i am sorry. it is a four unit illegal building with a fifth illegal units. commissioner hillis: why not legalize it? >> it is not possible because of the zoning, as far as i know. in fact, it would be a windfall to us if we could. then we have an extra unit. but we do not know it would be possible.


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