Looting Hawaiian Gardens
Press Conference Statementby Mina K. Meyer
by Mina K. Meyer, Co-Chair, Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem
Originally published 10 July 2000
in general release

For several years the Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem has been attempting to bring out the truth of the situation in Hawaiian Gardens where one man, Irving Moskowitz, and his legal counsel, Beryl Weiner, have maneuvered and manipulated the City Government over and over to enhance their own pocketbooks at the expense of a poor, primarily immigrant, undereducated citizenry.

As you read the report issued by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee you will find that residents and officials were duped into thinking that becoming a gambling mecca would bring the city and its residents great wealth in the form of services performed and projects paid for. Instead, the City is without funds to pay for basic services unless the owner of the Gambling empire, Irving Moskowitz, chooses to give out some funds. Redevelopment funds by law are never to be used for gambling, but not only were they used in this improper way, at a number of junctures when the Redevelopment Agency didnt have the money needed to move the project along, Moskowitz lent them the money to be paid back out of future monies earned from gambling. In fact the report states that the City should be repaid $12 million dollars.

The legal counsel for Moskowitz, Beryl Weiner, served as legal counsel for the Redevelopment Agency at the same time, without calling to the attention of officials that this was a potential conflict of interest. The interests of Moskowitz came first. The Redevelopment Agency ended up agreeing to pay for all kinds of costs that the redeveloper, Moskowitz, should have paid for in this "for profit" endeavor.

Additional investigation needs to be done, as suggested in the report. We feel that our work has been vindicated. We call for Attorney General Lockyer to take the Report under advisement and not give Irving Moskowitz who has harmed the City of Hawaiian Gardens so greatly, a permanent gambling license, but will instead help the City get the $12 Million dollars from Moskowitz and look into the Civil and Criminal remedies that the law allows.




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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