Hawthorne mayor facing second eviction

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Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown was elected to office on the promise of economic reform, but the city's top elected official is facing financial issues of his own. (KABC)

Hawthorne Mayor Chris Brown was elected to office on the promise of economic reform, but the city's top elected official is facing financial issues of his own.

Brown, who's running for re-election, may be evicted for the second time for not paying his rent.

"I don't really remember the time when we've ever evicted a city official," said attorney Dennis Block, who represents the owner of the condo where Brown and his family has been living since November.

Block said the mayor owes $17,000 in back rent. He has been living at the property off El Segundo Boulevard after being evicted from his previous home.

Block also represented a different landlord who sued Brown for not paying rent at Brown's previous address in Hawthorne.

In court last year, Brown argued that his town home was in disrepair, but a judge disagreed and ordered Brown to pay $10,000 in back rent.

"The tenant is gaming the system by pretending to withhold the rent because of the condition of premises," Block said.

As for the condo off El Segundo Boulevard, which rents for $3,500 a month, the owner of the unit said he depends on the rental income.

"I have to borrow money just to keep my mortgage up, but I'm also paying rent, bills, parking, so it's putting me in a bad predicament," Kubilay Isbilen said.

Brown declined to comment, but in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, he said: "I fully intend to continue fulfilling all of my financial obligations to the property."

City officials aren't commenting on the mayor's living situation, but some feel the accusations against the mayor are giving the city a bad reputation.

Previous mayor Danny Juarez pleaded guilty last year to a felony charge of conflict of interest after keeping a $2,500 donation that was supposed to go to a police officer's memorial fund.

Longtime Mayor Larry Guidi pleaded guilty in 2012 to felony grand theft for stealing a commercial food mixer.

Block will be in court in two weeks to convince a judge to issue an eviction order.

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