Two local elected officials have learned that the owner of a defunct Morris Park nightclub has dropped her lawsuit against them.
After a long battle with the problematic Karma nightclub on 1907 White Plains Road, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Senator Jeff Klein, and local residents celebrated a victory when the establishment finally closed their doors in late 2008.
Marcia Bridgett, owner of the nightclub, which faced numerous violations with the State Liquor Authority and fines for expired permits, among other issues, attempted to sue Vacca and Klein on grounds of libel after her club was closed.
On Tuesday, July 23, Vacca and Klein were notified that Bridgett will no longer carry out the lawsuit against the elected officials. Both had a feeling the day would eventually come.
According to Vacca, he and Klein were served lawsuit papers, but nothing ever developed from there. Vacca was never concerned about the lawsuit because as elected officials, both did their duties in closing a business that disrupted the community and broke several laws.
“This case being thrown out is great because there was never any grounds for a lawsuit,” Vacca said. “As elected officials, we [Senator Klein and I] did our jobs in fighting for the people that we represent. Anybody who lives in the area of where the nightclub was remembers how bad it was. I will not be intimidated by these types of lawsuits.”
After the nightclub opened in November 2007, local residents reported problems. Among the issues were: illegal parking, three shooting incidents, no cabaret or permit to assemble licenses, club overcrowding, and never-ending noise complaints.
In August 2008, the SLA answered the community’s prayers by suspending Karma’s liquor license for good. The club was ultimately closed and not too long after, Bridgett brought a lawsuit to Vacca and Klein amongst others.
“It was a threat without merit and I’m glad that, in the end, cooler heads prevailed,” Klein said. “Karma was a problematic location within the district and I simply did what was best for the people I represent and joined with them to address this unacceptable situation. I am satisfied that this matter has been brought to a conclusion.”
Vacca said the closing of Karma is an example of what he, Klein, and residents of his district will do if another establishment tries to cause unrest.
“Of course, I do not regret doing everything that was done to have Karma closed,” Vacca said.