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Judge halts possible sale of veterans’ building

Ryan Carter

Seeking to do what is right for disabled veterans and end a feud

within the organization that represents them, a judge Tuesday

prohibited a local group from selling its Burbank-based clubhouse.

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Glendale Superior Court Judge Laura A. Matz issued a temporary

restraining order prohibiting a group of veterans who formerly

represented Burbank Disabled American Veterans Chapter 40 from

selling the Magnolia Boulevard building where they’ve gathered for

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decades.

“It’s not clear to me that the appropriate thing to do is sell

it,” Matz said. “We have to make certain this is not done hastily,

and that it is in the best interests of Disabled American Veterans.”

The building is at the heart of a feud between the national

organization and trustees from the local chapter, which has been in

Burbank for nearly 70 years. Both sides are seeking control of the

property and indicated Tuesday they want to sell it. But officials

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representing the national organization said that the $250,000 asking

price by local members is much less than the $600,000 they think the

property is worth.

The feud made its way into court when the national organization

filed a lawsuit against the Burbank chapter, alleging that funds from

the clubhouse bar and lounge had been misappropriated and that

members fraudulently transferred assets to a new nonprofit

organization.

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In November, Matz issued a preliminary injunction requiring that

local members hand over control of the chapter and all assets to the

national organization’s trustees, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, Matz expanded the injunction to prohibit the sale of

the property by any one of the members of the local chapter or the

national organization. She also required an appraisal of the

building.

“I think it ought to be crystal clear to not allow them to sell

the property for a fraction of what it is worth,” said Mark Shipow,

the national organization’s attorney.

Shipow said in court that the national organization wanted to sell

the building, but that did not mean the local chapter could not

remain.

William Ramseyer, the local chapter’s attorney, said the plan was

to sell the property and give the revenue to local veterans’

hospitals.


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