Karma night club owner pleads ‘not guilty’

A legal battle is getting underway concerning Karma, the local nightspot that was the subject of a shooting on June 6. - Photo by Adam Bermudez

As the dust has settled a few weeks after a recent shooting at the Karma nightclub at 1907 White Plains Road in Morris Park, community members have stepped forwards again with concerns about why the club has not yet been shut down. 

Alexis Grenell, director of communications for Senator Jeff Klein, spoke to Community Board 11 on June 26 about the recent legal battle behind the scenes following meetings between the senator and top State Liquor Authority personnel. 

She explained about an investigation conducted by the authority to look into the community’s concerns that the nightclub is not operating properly under its license. 

At a November CB 11 meeting, Marcia Bridgett went before the board and described what was to be a restaurant, and sought a liquor license for such an establishment. 

Following the investigation, the authority charged the owner with not operating the type of establishment described in the initial application, as she turned what was to be Marcia’s Restaurant into Karma, a local nightclub. 

Grenell explained that Bridgett has retained counsel and plead not guilty to the SLA.

 “There’s a process, and we’re following it,” she said. 

Richard F. Buckley will represent the state and seek testimony, which will likely include community witnesses.

Grenell is also looking into the possibility of setting up a meeting with members of the SLA and the community, at the request of local residents, many of whom stated their concerns to the board. 

“The quality of life in our neighborhood will change if something isn’t done,” Gissela Dominguez of Hunt Avenue.

Referring to her repeated calls to the 49th Precinct to report noise beyond the acceptable level, garbage outside her house, or cars parked in her driveway, Dominguez recounted in increasing ire she has found from the officers. 

“They get vexed when we call,” Dominguez said.

Board members urged the resident to ask for the names of officers who react as such.

One board member, Al D’Angelo, also president of the Morris Park Community Association, agreed that he felt the precinct was not reacting properly to the situation.

“The precinct has to step it up,” he commented. 

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