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Karma’s hearing may be last call

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The first step for what community members and local elected officials hope to be the end of Karma began in the courtroom on Thursday, August 14.

Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta said he was one of only a handful of witnesses brought in last week to testify at a State Liquor Authority hearing that would help determine whether Karma’s liquor license would be reinstated or permanently revoked.

Angered by the alleged lie Karma owner Marcia Bridgett told the community board in order to obtain the license, Fratta said he was more than willing to provide the court with a written copy of the board’s meeting minutes where Bridgett promised to establish a family restaurant at the 1907 White Plains Road site.

 “First the lawyer asked me if I was a licensed transcriber,” Fratta said, snickering at the absurd request.

He added the attorney then asked for the original recording to be thrown out of evidence. The judge quickly dismissed the request.

“He was really grasping at straws,” Fratta said. “It was really dumb, stupid stuff.”

Van Nest Community Association vice-president Zena Twyman said she too was thrown off by the obscure questions Bridgett’s lawyer continued to ask.

After Twyman, a 29-year community activist, said she’d contacted the several times regarding the noisy nightclub, he continued to make a point that twice in 29 years seemed too minor to mention.

“I think there was some miscommunication there,” Twyman said laughing about the ridiculous statement, since Karma has not been open a year, let alone 29. 

After the SLA is finished questioning the witnesses, Bridgett’s lawyer will then have the opportunity to call people to vouch for the nightclub.

“It’ll be interesting to see who Bridgett brings in as a witness. Maybe she’ll bring the guy with the gun,” Fratta said, referencing the man who threatened to kill a News 12 reporter last month.

“She tried it; she failed; so she should just move on,” Fratta concluded. 

Upon the conclusion of questioning, the judge will submit their findings to the SLA board for review.

After Bridgett’s case is brought before an administrative law judge on August 22, the SLA commissioners will decide whether or not Karma will retain its liquor license.

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