A man was charged last week with setting a fire at an apartment complex that was being built in Hollywood, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Benicio Garcia was charged in case BA458250 with two counts each of arson of an inhabited structure and arson of a structure. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Bowers of the Arson and Explosives Section is prosecuting the case.

On June 12, a fire was reported at an apartment building that was under construction in the 400 block of North Helitrope Drive. The blaze destroyed the complex and two other structures were damaged.

Besides Garcia, no one was inside the building when the fire began. One firefighter was injured.

Garcia was seen by witnesses outside the building during the blaze. He was arrested at the scene.

If convicted as charged, Garcia faces a possible maximum sentence of 12 years and four months in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles City Fire Department and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Division.

—        Submitted by Greg Risling L.A. County District Attorney Public Information Officer


16th Street

Board to Call Special Board Meeting

The SMMUSD Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Thursday, June 22, at 5:30 p.m. in the district office board room (1651 16th Street, Santa Monica).

The purpose of this meeting is to allow the Board of Education to hold public hearings on the 2017-18 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and budget, as well as to take action on time-sensitive items prior to the next regular board meeting.

Prior to the open session at 5:30 p.m., there will be a special closed session at 4:30 p.m. in the board conference room.

The agenda for the special meeting will be posted on the district’s website: http://www.smmusd.org/board/meetings.html

The next regular board meeting will be on Thursday, June 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the district office board room.

—        Submitted by Gail Pinsker, SMMUSD Public Information Officer