LOS ANGELES, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office dismissed a case against Yolanda McGriff, a Los Angeles- based healthcare worker who was arrested while providing nursing and home health care to a low-income, disabled veteran. McGriff was arrested for trespass-related violations in November 2007 while she was providing care for her employer, a man who lived in what used to be the Alexandria Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The former Hotel, which is now used for low-income housing, was purchased in 2006 by a company that was planning to renovate the building and turn it into a high-priced downtown housing complex after displacing the low-income residents. McGriff, who had been providing healthcare services at this location since October 2007, was placed under citizens arrest by the building owners during her shift.
"Today, justice was served," stated Attorney Mark Werksman. "It is beyond the pale that Ms. McGriff was arrested as she was providing healthcare for a disabled, elderly man in his home. Today, her name has been cleared and the low-income residents are being protected from the predatory behavior of these building owners who clearly are more concerned with profits than people's rights."
The case, which was handled pro bono by criminal defense attorney Mark Werksman, was dropped today after the City Attorney's office was informed about the predatory behavior of the building owners. The building, which is supposed to provide low-income housing, has been the scene of more than 89 unlawful detainer actions against low-income residents since 2006. So far it is estimated over 100 low income tenants have been displaced, many of whom are now homeless. Due to those actions, the building's owners are now under a federal court restraining order that prevents them from kicking residents out of their homes. In addition, the building's holding company has been charged by the L.A. City Attorney in a 36-count misdemeanor complaint related to the owners' actions. The City Attorney has spent decades focusing his efforts on protecting low-income residents from slumlords.
SOURCE Mark Werksman