A blind Burbank man is fighting to salvage his food service business in a downtown Los Angeles federal building more than a year after an administrative law judge ordered a state agency representing him to enter into arbitration on the matter.
Michael Fields' case has been tied up in a morass of government bureaucracy since the General Services Administration, which owns the building at Los Angeles and Temple streets, began dismantling his lobby food cart operation in September 2009.
Located on the first floor of the building since 2002, Fields' operation at one point included four refrigerated display cabinets, an 8-foot cappuccino cart, a 6-foot coffee cart, small canopy stand, tables and chairs.
His business — with four full-time employees and a wide-ranging menu — was generating a steady $1,500 a day. His snack shop on the third floor averaged about $400 a day.
But after the General Services Administration reduced the size of his operation to an 8-foot coffee cart and a 4-foot-long condiment counter, revenue plummeted to just $300 a day, Fields said.