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Neighbors: Millionaire refuses to fix roof

November 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Ladera Heights is a community of impeccable homes and manicured yards.Well, there is one house that is seen as an eyesore.

Ronni Cooper is the president of the Ladera Heights Civic Association. She points to the gaping holes in the house's roof and the chunks of concrete holding down the tarps that are draped over most of the home.

Even the birdhouse is rotting away.

Cooper said the past 10 years have been a struggle for neighbors trying to get the owner to fix the place up.

But while many homeowners can't afford to make repairs, the house in question is owned by Ed Wedbush

If you don't recognize the name, you may recognize the downtown Los Angeles high-rise that bears his name and houses his brokerage and investment banking company.

A Los Angeles Times report pegs his worth at more than $150 million.

Neighbors said he only spends a couple nights a week at the home while they're left to look at it all the time.

"All we want to be able to do is have him be a good neighbor," said Wayne Bragg, a frustrated neighbor.

The problem isn't just unsightly tarps anymore. Neighbors say because the roof was allowed to deteriorate for so many years, the house now has extensive water damage and mold problems.

"When you're very good with money you would think that he would understand and appreciate the value of the property he has and he would try to maintain it," Bragg said.

In a brief phone conversation, Wedbush, 78, told Eyewitness News media accounts of his house have been inaccurate, that the condition of the house is tied to a long-running dispute with the county about an aquifer under the property.

He then ended the call to leave for a meeting.

But neighbors say this is a case of a powerful man not wanting to be told what to do.

"If you're broke it's one thing. We feel sorry for you," Cooper said. "But when you have 150 million dollars, it's all about somebody not wanting to cooperate."


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