In the latest in a series of financial troubles for the new Hollywood Entertainment Museum, a $2.4 million lawsuit has been filed against it by a construction company that performed renovation work on the facility.
West Los Angeles-based Taslimi Construction Co. claims in a suit filed earlier this month that of $2.9 million worth of work it performed, the Hollywood Boulevard museum has only paid Taslimi $475,000.
Eric C. Smith, Taslimi’s lawyer, declined to comment. Charles Thornton, the museum’s lawyer, said, “The museum is contesting the amount that is owed. Other than that, it is an ongoing lawsuit.”
Phyllis Caskey, president and chief executive of the museum, did not return calls for comment.
Hollywood community activists said last week that the lawsuit was just the latest in a series of financial troubles for the museum.
“It’s the continuing saga of the Entertainment Museum and how they have to go back to having the taxpayers bail them out every time it gets in trouble,” said Robert Nudelman, a community activist and longtime critic of the city of Los Angeles’ Community Redevelopment Agency.
Earlier this year, Hollywood Entertainment Museum officials asked the CRA which agreed to contribute $2.5 million to help build the museum for $642,000 to help pay off its short-term construction debt.
In April the Los Angeles City Council voted 11-0 to approve giving the museum the money, which originally was intended to pay future rent for the museum’s 30,000 square feet of space at the Hollywood Galaxy Center at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.
But with its latest financial difficulty, the museum might find assistance not from Los Angeles taxpayers, but rather California taxpayers.
In this year’s state budget, signed by Gov. Pete Wilson last week, $2 million in state educational funds were set aside for the museum.