Plenty of questions are being raised around the Burbank Disabled
American Veterans club’s management of its finances, but answers --
and details -- are in notably short supply.
The local chapter of the club, a 70-year fixture in Burbank,
consists primarily of a lounge and bar operated at 1115 W. Magnolia Blvd. Proceeds from the bar are used to cover operating costs, and
whatever is left over goes to the Veterans Administration hospital on
Plummer Street in Sepulveda, according to Burbank DAV members. Club
officials also said some of the money is used to maintain the
equipment the club needs to serve as a color guard for veterans’
events in the area.
The group’s national headquarters, however, says the club’s
revenues and expenditures don’t jibe, and filed a complaint seeking
forfeiture of the club’s assets to the state DAV organization.
According to the national DAV, the club’s funds are being mismanaged,
and “Since at least 2001, the DAV-California has been concerned about
the deteriorating financial condition of Chapter 40 (the Burbank
chapter),” the complaint reads. “The liquid assets were diminishing
at a significant rate. However, there was no corresponding increase
in expenditures for veterans’ programs, so it was clear that the
assets of Chapter 40 were not being used to provide increased
services to veterans.”
Clear to the national organization, maybe, but not clear on its
face, and not clear to a judge, either. In Glendale Superior Court on
Friday, Judge Laura A. Matz decided to take more time considering
whether an injunction against the club was warranted in the case,
which she described as “awful.”
“I think something terrible is going on here,” Matz said.
Problem is, terrible how? No one’s saying. The national
organization is alleging the club has mismanaged its funds, but isn’t
saying how, or in what amount, or what the unaccounted money might
have been used for.
Club members aren’t doing much better. They’re simply stating,
over and over again, that they’ve done nothing wrong, as if just
repeating it proves it. If nothing’s wrong, what’s with the national
organization’s complaint? And what’s with the local chapter
transferring ownership of its assets to the members at large when the
national DAV attempted to revoke Chapter 40’s charter? Why isn’t that
“Something terrible” might indeed be going on, as Matz said, but
she didn’t say in what way, probably because she -- like the rest of
us -- can’t figure it out, and isn’t getting any help from either
side. We trust a speedy decision will be made about the national
DAV’s complaint; in the meantime, it’s veterans paying the price for
someone else’s mistake, regardless of which side is right.