Is The Buelna Law Firm, A.P.C, associated with corruption and racketeering allegations? (New Update 2023)
The Buelna Law Firm APC – Family Law is a firm by Gabriel Buelna who is facing a lawsuit for fraud and corruption.
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Their address is 5255 Pomona Blvd Suite 8, Los Angeles, CA 90022. Similarly, their contact number is 213-444-72-86.
Apart from being the founder and owner of the Buelna Law Firm APC, Gabriel is the board president at Los Angeles Community College District.
LACCD has been in controversy recently after a lawsuit surfaced.
The Buelna Law Firm owner had assured others of building a new center at Los Angeles Valley College with a radio station, classrooms, 4 indoor theaters, a dedicated newsroom, and more.
Its cost is around $82 million.
According to his promises, the center was going to enrich the educational experience of Valley students. Most of them are from low-income households and some of them would be the first in their families to attend college.
However, it has been 6 since the groundbreaking ceremony and the project is 4 years behind schedule.
Furthermore, the project has already accumulated $12 million in unexpected costs.
In April, an independent arbitrator found that the primary party to blame is the Los Angeles Community College District, whose president is the owner of the Buelna Law Firm, APC.
Violations of State Requirements and the Role of Buelna Law Firm’s Owner:
The arbitrator found that the LACCD had violated state requirements for fair dealing and good faith in the contracts.
It ordered them to pay $3.2 million in compensation to the construction firm and its subcontractors.
The firm handling the construction is Pinner Construction Inc.
Also, Pinner and its subcontractors have filed a case against the LA district’s project team. The lawsuit alleges fraud, racketeering, and corruption to delay the construction so consultants could increase their billing hours.
Furthermore, the complaint alleges that the Buelna Law Firm’s owner paid $20 million in unjustified payments.
This money came from the taxpayers.
Moreover, the Buelna Law Firm owner and his team forced the subcontractors to pay over $24.8 million extra for overhead, consultancy, and legal fees among other expenses.
According to the lawsuit, racketeers conspired to delay the project and blamed it on the construction firm. They made millions by doing so.
Moreover, the lawsuit says the court should bring those consultants to justice and hold them accountable.
While Strauss didn’t talk to the media, the district refused to answer any questions as well.
Gabriel Bulena, Board President and owner of the Buelna Law Firm APC refused to comment on the matter.
Additional Allegations of Corruption Against the District:
Previously, the district has faced allegations of nepotism and mismanagement. Although the District Chancellor claimed that they have launched multiple reforms to quell these issues, he fired an executive in 2019 when he became a whistleblower.
The district, now under the leadership of Buelna Law Firm’s owner, fired him for raising concerns about cost overruns in a $3.3 billion construction bond.
Furthermore, the reason why the executive became a whistleblower was a poor performance review.
Later, they fired the whistleblower and now they are facing a lawsuit.
The Promises and Flaws of the Project:
The name of the project is Valley Academic & Cultural Center. According to the district’s claims, it will bring the media arts and the theater arts department under one roof.
Previously, trustees had questioned the scope of the project as there are around 35 out of 18,000 students majoring in theater.
Yet, the project is underway as the district hopes it will attract more students.
It was supposed to open in 2018 but has faced constant delays.
Why the delays?
For starters, the main theater rises 80 feet high. It has concrete walls with wood paneling with a large structure of extremely heavy reinforcing steel.
Additionally, the structure is too tall. To accommodate it, Pinner had to build an enormous wooden frame around it.
The construction firm wanted to use shorter pieces of steel. They didn’t want the reinforcing steel pieces to be taller than 20 ft.
Moreover, the arbitrator said it was standard industry practice.
However, Gabriel Buelna’s project managers barred the plan. The owner of the Buelna Law Firm forced the construction firm to use pieces 3 times higher than the proposed pieces.
Moreover, the consultants insisted on using the complicated design even though the construction firm warned them that it would delay the project.
Pinner also told the owner of the Buelna Law Firm that the project’s costs will increase by $16 million.
According to the lawsuit, the consultants misled the officials about issues related to the splicing or joining of the steel. Their disagreements caused an additional delay of 15 months.
Also, the consultants earned an additional sum of $2.5 million because of this delay.
“The Buelna Law Firm Owner Should Take Responsibility”
Pinner’s project executive told the media that the overbuilt structure is like a bomb shelter.
The arbitrator found multiple management failures in how the consultants operated. It’s a case of racketeering and the Buelna Law Firm owner would have to explain.
According to the arbitrator, the district’s team insisted that they needed the approval of the state architect. However, they didn’t get the approval even when the costs and time were not high.
Moreover, the responses of the consultants to Pinner’s requests were often late and incomplete.
In another dispute, the consultants have ordered Pinner to remove the exterior panels they had installed in 2018.
According to the lawsuit, the team working under the owner of the Buelna Law Firm wants Pinner to install panels in a way different from the manufacturer’s instructions. This way, it would void the warranty.
These new issues can cause the project to face an additional delay of 200 days and force the project to pay $1 million more to the consultants.
More About the Buelna Law Firm APC:
The Buelna Law Firm APC operates under the ownership of Gabriel Buelna. They offer services in family law, public policy, criminal law, and business litigation.
Before running this law firm, Gabriel Buelna was an Adjunct Professor at California State University – Northridge part-time.
Gabriel earned his BA from California State University and a Master’s in Social Work from San Diego State University.
Moreover, he has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University.
Facing a lawsuit for racketeering and corruption is a huge deal. It suggests the owner of Buelna Law Firm APC isn’t as honest as he claims to be.
The unforeseen delays in the project and the poor management of the district puts a huge question mark on the competence of Gabriel Buelna as well.
It’s not the first time that a lawyer has gained notoriety for incompetence. Anidjar and Levine is a law firm that has received numerous complaints for ignoring its clients’ interests.
Beware of the Buelna Law Firm APC. The recent media reports indicate they might not be reliable enough.
The Buelna Law Firm APC is run by Gabriel Buelna the board President of LACCD. He is facing a lawsuit for corruption, fraud and racketeering.
- Wasting taxpeyer’s money