District Attorney Brings Charges
INDIO, CA – An alarm installation and monitoring contractor was arraigned Monday May 6, 2013 at the Indio Larsen Justice Center facing three counts of operating his business in violation of State laws that apply to conditions on companies that sell, install, monitor and service alarm systems.
On April 16, the Complaint was filed with the court accompanying the Declaration in Support of Arrest Warrant along with Fingerprints Required, according to court documents.
Although the accused man maintained a defiant hubris in the hallway outside the courtroom, when he was questioned by the judge inside the courtroom he spoke softly and sparingly, with the polished eloquence of slick judicial experience.
Accused of Operating Unlicensed Businesses
The charges were brought against Peter Chryss (legal birth name of Peter Paul Chryssikos Jr.) of Chryss Home Automation by the Riverside County District Attorney’s office acting on referrals from the State Contractors License Board and the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services after a one year investigation by those agencies.
Peter Chryss pleaded not guilty to the charges. He appeared pro per, meaning he is representing himself without an attorney.
During arraignment the District Attorney added a fourth additional charge against Chryss. Details of that fourth charge are not known at this time It is known that Chryss was on probation at the time the violations are alleged to have occurred.
In a previous sworn court deposition in another legal matter, Chryss testified he had no alarm business license but admitted to doing alarm company work. It is not known if this testimony was a part of the year long investigation by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.
Unable to Get License Due to Felony
Court documents and investigatory reports allege that Peter Chryss continued to operate his alarm and security business despite efforts made by state agencies for him to cease doing business. State agency officials confirmed for Desert Vortex News that Chryss was not eligible to be issued a state license as he was a convicted felon.
While Peter Chryss was being investigated he continued to advertise his businesses in the local newspaper and on several online websites. In those ads he claimed to have several large contracts and licenses. We have been unable to confirm that those representations are factual.
Those advertisements were provided to the District Attorney by customers of Chryss Home Automation that came forward to file complaints against the company. Those complaints allegedly include discoveries by his customers that despite paying Chryss for alarm monitoring, their homes were not actually being monitored.
It is alleged that when one customer complained to Peter Chryss that the home alarm monitoring system installed by Chryss was ineffective, that the customer had triggered the alarm and discovered no response. Instead of negotiating a refund for an alarm system that was not monitored, Chryss sent the customer to a collection agency.
The Political World of Peter Chryss
In 2011, Peter Chryss also became the subject of an investigation by the City of Desert Hot Springs and a controversy involving a former Desert Hot Springs council member Karl Baker.
Pete Chryss entered the limelight working on the 2010 campaign for his roommate, the former city councilman Karl Baker.
The name of Chryss first popped up in public on Baker’s campaign website. Baker used the email of Peter Chryss as a means to contact him during his campaign.
Chryss also appeared at a fund raising events held by Baker including one at Two Bunch Palms Resort.
What thrust Chryss further into the spotlight was the discovery that not only was Chryss an unlicensed contractor but that he held contracts with the city as well as personal and business contracts with three city officials who voted for and signed off on city contracts [naming Peter Chryss] for amounts of nearly $40,000.
City Manager Rick Daniels purportedly paid Chryss $6,000 for his home theater system installation.
Council member Jan Pye paid an undisclosed amount to Chryss for her home security alarm system.
Council member Scott Matas also paid an undisclosed amount to Chryss to install an alarm system for his UPS business.
The public was never shown proof that any of these city officials ever actually made payments to Chryss as they allege. Also disconcerting, the pre-existing business relationship between Chryss and city officials was kept secret and only disclosed long after his obtaining city business contracts.
Peter Chryss will next appear in court May 21 in Riverside. Chryss has previous experience in the halls of justice and the District Attorney will most likely find him a challenging foe. At his next court appearance more should be known about that additional charge the District Attorney is filing against him.
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Peter Chryssikos or Chryss
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For over 40 years Dean has been published in a variety of small newspapers and magazines. As publisher he founded an alternative city weekly newspaper in 2008 and published over 200 uninterrupted issues over 4 years to over 20,000 readers via 800 locations (and online) before selling the business. Now online with over 4 million readers worldwide.
Dean is a Master Carpenter and the author of the biography of Hilda M Gray, desert homesteader. He served as Planning Commissioner for the city of Desert Hot Springs from January 2014 to January 2015 when he resigned.
Dean M Gray is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors and lives in Palm Desert, California.
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