A judge has appointed a receiver with a troubled history of managing distressed properties to oversee 29 residential buildings in poor Los Angeles, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times.

Receiver Mark Adams and his Santa Monica-based California receivership team were appointed to oversee affordable housing operated by the Slum Housing Trust Fund at the request of Mayor Karen Bass and City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto, The Times reported.

The downtown-based, financially troubled trust has been working since February to divest its 29 residential hotels and complexes, which are home to more than 1,500 formerly homeless tenants.

Before Adams took office, many tenants live in fear and dirty, three people died of drug overdose One day last month. City officials spoke of an “imminent humanitarian crisis.”

They said Adams was well-qualified for the role of receiver because of his “extensive knowledge and experience”.

But a New York Times review of court records and dozens of interviews with people involved in Adams’ past takeovers has raised questions about his ability to manage the trust’s troubled portfolio and care for the tenants under his control.

In two cases similar to the Slum Housing Trust case, Adams left years before the problem was resolved. In court documents, he also left out key facts about his involvement.

In other cases involving Adams, tenants risk eviction while owners lose their homes. Meanwhile, his rate has risen to $465 an hour.

In multiple cases, judges and local governments have determined that Adams increased staffing, raised staff rates and double billed without notifying the judge, according to a Times investigation — putting him The fee was inflated by six figures.

In one case, a judge likened Adams’ bill to “crazy feeding.”

In East Los Angeles, Adams took control of a dilapidated triplex, sold it and tried to collect $530,000 from the estate, but an angry judge cut the amount by more than half. The 70-year-old owner lost everything and has mostly lived in shelters and cheap hotels since then.

In the Coachella Valley, Adams served as receiver for a community of 4,000 residents, mostly migrant workers. He went into receivership with a $220,000 debt; a judge removed him from the case.

In an interview with The Times, Adams defended his record, saying he had handled difficult cases throughout his career, which made criticism inevitable.

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Adams argued that his firm has handled nearly 300 receiverships, more than any other firm in the state, and that if he doesn’t come to fruition, the city and the judge won’t keep holding him accountable. He said he was the only one with the expertise in contracting, property management and financing needed to handle the scale of the task at hand.

“No one in California or anywhere in the United States has had the opportunity to address the slum housing trust fund except me,” Adams said.

— Dana Bartholomew

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