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Beverly Hills group says Hilton expansion OKd with help of phony voters

June 2, 2009 |  6:33 am

Beverly Hills residents opposed to the Beverly Hilton Hotel's expansion said that a five-month investigation had uncovered more than 550 instances of voting irregularities from the November election when voters narrowly authorized the project by approving Measure H. 

But the opposition group declined to reveal any evidence of what it called "illegal and fraudulent" voting.

"Over 550 people voted or tried to vote in Beverly Hills who do not reside in the city," Larry Larson, treasurer of the Citizens Right to Decide Committee, the opposition group, said on the steps of Beverly Hills City Hall. He lifted a 3-inch-thick binder that he said was filled with "illegal voters' names and their legal addresses" and said he planned to send copies of the information this week to California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.

In a statement, Mayor Nancy Krasne called on the two officials to conduct investigations and prosecute "both those who voted illegally and those who encouraged them to do so."

Larson said the allegedly phony voters were "related to vocal proponents of the Hilton expansion." He contended that their votes might have affected the election results.

Corinne Verdery, senior vice president of Oasis West Realty, said in a statement that the allegations "have nothing to do with the Beverly Hilton or the Measure H campaign." Hilton owner Beny Alagem is chairman of Oasis West.

"The people of Beverly Hills have spoken ... and supported this project," Verdery said.

-- Martha Groves