Ron Hudson Denies Bel-Air Bar & Grill Conflict Of Interest In Deposition
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2016 – 12:45 PM
Former Bel-Air Association President Ron Hudson vehemently denied a conflict of interest between the organization – when he was running it – and the Bel-Air Bar & Grill, despite evidence strongly to the contrary.
The denial came in a deposition Tuesday, obtained by the Courier, in the lawsuit of Bruce Kuyper v New Bel-Air Association, et al.,
The lawsuit came to light after a March 17 special meeting, where by a 155-to-1 vote, the Bel-Air community ousted the former leadership, including Hudson, and installed a slate of nine new boardmembers, along with sweeping bylaw changes.
The deposition sheds light on what many in the community protested loudly was potentially a conflict of interest between the Hudson-led BAA and the Bel-Air Bar and Grill. When the Bel-Air Bar and Grill appeared before the L.A. Planning Department late last year for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), Hudson appeared at the meeting, advocating on behalf of the establishment.
It was later discovered that Hudson had maintained an office at the Bar and Grill, a fact not previously disclosed to the community.
In the deposition, Hudson admits he considers the Bel Air Bar & Grill to be his landlord, but that he doesn’t feel it’s a conflict of interest to advocate on its behalf. “I’ve been going there since I was a child, so why would it be a conflict of interest? Hudson asks, before admitting he has not sought guidance from any legal counsel on the matter.
Hudson notes the BAA has “absolutely” advocated on behalf of positions for Susan Lord, owner of the restaurant. Hudson has a five-year lease in the building and began paying rent in January 2016.
He appeared at the planning meeting to advocate on the restaurant’s behalf just three months prior. Hudson goes on to tell the attorney questioning him that he has not recused himself from voting on any matters related to the Bel Air Bar & Grill.
Hudson goes on to tell the attorney questioning him that he has not recused himself from voting on any matters related to the Bel Air Bar & Grill.
“It’s a clear example of how matters were handled under his presidency,” said Bel-Air Association member Fred Rosen. “It’s a clear conflict of interest, it’s basic governance 101. It’s just another example of the lack of transparency in the old organization. It’s why the community, by an overwhelming margin, removed Ron and his cronies from the offices they held.”