New Jersey Club Owner Sues Town For Prohibiting Black And Gay Patrons

Stock Photo / Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

A New Jersey club owner is suing his municipality after he says they tried to limit the amount of black and gay patrons in his establishment.

According to app.com, Karma club owner John P. Saddy field a lawsuit on November 14 against Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz, Borough Council members Richard Tompkins, Michael Carbone, Louis DiGiulio, Agnes Polhemus, Harry Smith and Victoria Graichen, Administrator Christopher Vaz, Police Chief Thomas Boyd, Police Sgt. Luigi Violante, and other municipal employees.

The lawsuit says that the borough’s group of government employees “has implemented and maintain an unconstitutional, discriminatory and racist policy, practice and/or custom of discouraging and limiting African-American and LGBTQ (Lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer/questioning) visitors to Seaside Heights.”

The Karma nightclub / Image via Facebook @ClubKarma

Some examples of Borough interference listed in the lawsuit include being prohibited from playing hip hop or rap music in the club, an “unjustified police raid” during a “Hyperglow” theme night, and the rejection of LGBTQ events by Administrator Christopher Vaz who warned that “the police would be living” at his venues.

"When they say 'family friendly, they mean white, straight people," said attorney Thomas J. Mallon, who is representing Saddy.

That said, Borough attorney Jean Cipriani says that Saddy’s argument is made up of "outrageous, false and inflammatory allegations made by an individual who is looking for money and who is willing to make wild and unsupported smears about public servants in pursuit of that money.

In a statement, Cipriani says that, "The Borough of Seaside Heights does not discriminate on the basis of race or sexual preference or identity. Period.”

Cipriani also alleges that Saddy’s real mission is to get revenge on the borough for trying to revoke his liquor and mercantile licenses earlier this year.

As compensation, Saddy is looking for an unspecified amount of money to make up for his loss of income from rejecting patrons and to pay for his attorney’s fees.

h/t: APP

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