Security system at supervisor's home

L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas applied for a building permit Friday to renovate what appears to be an improperly converted garage at his Leimert Park home by adding a carport and removing a section of the detached building. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

By Jack Leonard and Paul Pringle
January 31, 2014, 8:09 p.m.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas obtained a building permit Friday to renovate what appears to be an improperly converted garage at his Leimert Park home by adding a carport and removing a section of the detached building.

The request to approve the work comes after The Times reported that county-paid crews installing a security system last year replaced his garage’s interior walls, installed electrical wiring and equipment, and put in appliances — without city permits.

The newspaper reported that the detached garage had been converted into an office with a restroom before the work was done, apparently without permits.

Online records show that city building officials issued a permit Friday to add a two-vehicle carport and convert the garage into a recreation room with a half-bathroom. In addition, the permit calls for the removal of a five-by-19-foot section of the building.

Bob Steinbach, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Building and Safety, said inspectors have visited the home as part of an investigation into whether Ridley-Thomas’ garage had been converted without permits. The probe was launched in response to a complaint after the Times report about the county work performed at the supervisor’s home.

Steinbach said city officials still have to perform further inspections of the garage. As part of the permit sought Friday, he said, inspectors would conduct a thorough review of any work previously done without approval. He said inspectors, for example, usually punch holes in drywall to examine unpermitted electrical and plumbing work.

“That will all be part of the permit,” he said. “There are a lot of inspections that have to happen.”

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