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Monica's Victims

A Chinatown construction magnate may have ripped off taxpayers and workers for as much as $20 million. Now she's trying to evict Le Cheval.

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Inside the courthouse, after Ung's lawyer entered her not guilty plea, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gary Picetti scheduled her next court appearance for October 30. Clearly, Ung and her defense team are in no hurry to go to trial. And why should they be? As long as she's out on bond, she can continue to operate NBC General Contractors and collect millions from the City of Oakland and other public agencies.

But all of that could come to an end soon — and not because of anything that the city is doing. The office of Attorney General Jerry Brown has begun a legal effort to rescind NBC's contractor's license. If that were to happen before NBC completes the 81st Avenue library, then Oakland would be required under law to terminate Ung's contract.

Victor Uno of the electrical workers' union said the East Bay labor community wants the city to end its relationship with NBC but is not interested in killing the library project. "That library is very important to the East Oakland community," he said. He added that organized labor is willing to help the city in any way it can to make sure that the library is completed — by a law-abiding contractor, that is.

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