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Lost license means end to local DAV

Ryan Carter

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 40 bar and lounge on West

Magnolia Boulevard is much quieter than it used to be. Instead of

closing at 10 every night, James McDermott now shuts down at 6:30

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p.m.

“Once [patrons] heard the license was revoked, we’re like plague

victims,” said McDermott, the bar’s manager and treasurer.

Late last month, a judge slapped a temporary injunction on the

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club, handing over control to the national Disabled American Veterans

organization, which sued the Burbank chapter over allegations of

financial mismanagement of its bar operations.

The Nov. 20 ruling by Glendale Superior Court Judge Laura A. Matz

and a pending deal with the national organization to drop its lawsuit

mean the assets of the 70-year-old club will be seized, McDermott

said.

“Basically, they are starving us out, because without the hall and

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bar, we have no money coming in,” said McDermott, who continues to

maintain that money raised is used to keep up the property and

support veterans’ charities.

The national organization has argued that the local chapter

diverted funds from veterans programs to keep the bar open. After the

national organization attempted to revoke the club’s charter, club

trustees set up a nonprofit organization and signed a lease with the

local chapter to assume operation of the bar in return for $1,000 a

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month.

Furthermore, to keep it out of the hands of the national

organization, the Burbank chapter signed away the deed to its

property, Matz said.

“Because it no longer has title to the real property, it is

questionable whether the local chapter has the right to the funds

generated by renting out the banquet hall or operating the bar,” Matz

said in her ruling.

Mark Shipow, the attorney representing the national organization,

was pleased with the judge’s ruling, and said the organization plans

to close the club’s bar effective immediately.

“Our goal here was always to protect the Disabled American

Veterans organization and do what’s right for the members,” Shipow

said.

While the deal would allow the organization to keep its charter,

it would mean the bar and hall would have to close, McDermott said.

The injunction, he added, has left members with no other choice but

to take the deal and shut down, possibly as soon as January.

The national organization, however, could decide to keep the club

open and operate it under its own rules and regulations.

McDermott, meanwhile, says the club does not even have money to

attend an appeal hearing next year in front of the Disabled American

Veterans executive board.

“This kind of hurt real deep,” he said. “We’re combat vets here,

and all of a sudden we’re overrun. When you got nobody to help you

out, no reserves, it hurts.”


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