The owner of a Sunset District motel is accused of perjury in a suit brought by THC.
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Controversial motel owner sentenced for perjury
Beach Motel suit was brought by housing activists
A judge sentenced a Sunset District motel owner to three years’ probation on Friday for perjuring himself in a civil trial.
The action against the 51-year-old owner of the Beach Motel at 4211 Judah Street, located one block from Ocean Beach, follows his plea last month of no contest to the felony charge. The motel owner, who also paid a $3,000 fine, had been accused of falsely testifying about renting out rooms to daily tenants.
The District Attorney’s Office accused Bhazubhai “Bob” Patel of perjury during Patel’s defense proceedings against a San Francisco Superior Court suit, brought last year by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic under the city’s residential-housing ordinance.
The city law, passed in 1979 aims to ensure that the city’s stock of low-cost housing for long-term tenants remains at 1979 levels in spite of more lucrative markets, such as for tourists.
But George Beckwith, Patel’s lawyer in the perjury case, said that Patel could have beat the charge by going to trial because Patel did not lie but made a mistake that he tried to correct later in the civil trial. Beckwith said Patel “couldn’t afford to keep on fighting” and pleaded no contest to the perjury charge.
Andrew Zacks, Patel’s civil trial lawyer, said he believed the Tenderloin Housing Clinic wanted to publicize the perjury conviction “to gain an advantage” after it lost to Patel in the civil trial, a decision that the Clinic is now appealing.