I saw an article on the Independent’s website today, “$14,000 Fine Revoked for Landlord Dario Pini,” that contained some apparent inaccuracies that I want to correct.
As a hearing administrator, I don’t overturn Steve Wiley on anything. Administrative citations and fines related to enforcement cases, such as the one you reference, are imposed by city staff in the Community Development Department, not by the City Attorney.
There is a regular appeal procedure whereby a hearing administrator, frequently a manager from another city department, will review staff’s imposition of an administrative fine. As just one of a panel of staff hearing administrators, I am selected randomly to review a handful of appeals every year.
The decision that I rendered in this case was limited to facts presented by staff and Mr. Pini in an appeal hearing limited to one specific citation on one specific property. I am not familiar with, nor did I consider in rendering the decision, anything related to other enforcement cases against Mr. Pini, nor related to a more comprehensive lawsuit filed by the City Attorney’s Office.
I think it is important to clarify the very limited scope of this particular appeal decision as compared to any larger action against Mr. Pini. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Kristy Schmidt serves as Employee Relations Manager in the City of Santa Barbara's Administrator's Office