Press Conference Statement by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak
by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak
Originally published 10 July 2000
in general release

This report confirms that Moskowitz has ripped off the poor city of Hawaiian Gardens for $12 Million. We believe that it exposes Moskowitz and his associates and places them in considerable jeopardy. We expect the attorney general - Mr. Lockyer - and other law enforcement representatives to act. We concur with the report's call for criminal investigations on local, state, and federal levels. The idea that Moskowitz should receive a license to run a casino is ludicrous. Moskowitz does not merit the publics trust. This report is complex but what comes through is the long agonizing history of deceptions and chicanery perpetrated by Moskowitz.

I want to introduce members of the Hawaiian Gardens community, former city officials, and also members of the Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem. First a word about who we are.

There are a number of Hawaiian Gardens residents and former employees here today. They are the victims of a reign of political and even violent terror that festers while one man enriches himself. This report on his redevelopment activities in Hawaiian Gardens puts his "charitable activity" in a new and dark light. Moskowitz was using charitable bingo funds to pay for building his casino. He was using the bingo funds to threaten and coerce the city. The Attorney General is in charge of charitable trusts - as we know from the Quackenbush matter - charitable trust matters are in complete disarray and cry-out for immediate attention.

In a moment you will meet Walter McKinney the former police chief; Kathy Navejas the former mayor; Nelson Oliva is the former city manager; and Ralph Cesena another former mayor. All these people held positions of authority and respect - they too were undermined and their lives affected - by Moskowitzs attorney Beryl Weiner and hired henchman. Their story must still be told. Their full vindication is beginning today.

The disparate members of the Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem include members of the Jewish community especially hundreds of rabbis - from all denominations; members of the Latino community both residents of Hawaiian Gardens arid prominent political leaders; union activists, and clergy from a number of denominations.

We in the Jewish community got involved when we heard about Moskowitzs activities in Jerusalem. As we came to understand the nature of how Moskowitz misused the Bingo we began to understand how the people of Hawaiian Gardens were ripped off.

This report explains the improper treatment of the city by developer Moskowitz. While this report focuses on violations of law such as the use of public funds for developing a casino; the misuse of a city's redevelopment powers to condemn and acquire land; the violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); the nefarious activities of an attorney Beryl Weiner acting to subvert the interests of the City of Hawaiian Gardens while serving as both an attorney for the Redevelopment Agency and the developer, Moskowitz. I urge you to read a long, long list of findings from page 16 to 20 and the subsequent recommendations on pages 20 and 21.

When Moskowitz got the 12 Million dollars for his casino he wasnt just robbing a poor city. The city didnt just lose money. It lost the life chances that $12 million could buy. Peoples lives were destroyed because the kind of services and help they needed and it wasnt there. The money was soaked up by Moskowitz. We call on Lockyer to quickly make Moskowitz give back that money.

Our goal is to seek justice. The city should have the active help of the Attorney Generals office to regain the millions of dollars taken from the city. The law breaking detailed in this report clearly shows that the Attorney General must reject Moskowitzs application for a casino. Lockyer must immediately help the city get back the 12 Million dollars which the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) reports says were taken.

We have no doubt that the city can begin again with the help of the legal and legislative arms of this state. We hope that the report will bring justice to Hawaiian Gardens and indirectly to Jerusalem. Right now the fate of two cities hangs in the balance. We urge the Attorney General to act expeditiously!!

Our coalition will continue to monitor the activities of the attorney general. We will continue to seek programs to restore a civic and economic life for the residents of Hawaiian Gardens.

Today at a place called Camp David three national leaders are seeking to make peace. That peace will be advanced greatly by the state of California serving the needs of its citizens and denying Moskowitz the fruits of his ill gotten gain. We hope that: California taxpayers will no longer subsidize the destabilizing efforts against peace that the Moskowitz foundations millions cause. We hope that Lockyer will act to restore integrity to charitable activity in California and to protect the residents of Hawaiian Gardens against unscrupulous individuals.


READ THE OTHER STATEMENTS FROM THE JLAC PRESS CONFERENCE

Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak | Rabbis Steven Jacobs and Jerry Goldstein | Walter McKinney | Mina K. Meyer | Sharon Raphael

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