Originally published 01 September 1999
in sample letter
Hon. Bill Lockyer
State of California
1515 "K" Street, Suite 511
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Gambling License for Dr. Irving Moskowitz
Dear Mr. Lockyer:
is my understanding that you are presently considering granting a permanent
gambling license to Dr. Irving Moskowitz for a card club/casino operation
in Hawaiian Gardens. I am writing to ask that this license not be granted.
I am sure you know, Dr. Moskowitz has run a non-profit bingo operation for
many years. I have reviewed documentation regarding the non-profit status
of Dr. Moskowitz bingo operation and it appears that he has repeatedly used
proceeds from the non-profit bingo parlor for private, for-profit businesses,
including one in which he has a financial interest. There are also serious
questions about the "volunteer" status of the people who staff the bingo
operation. In addition, the funds raised by the bingo parlor appear to be
diverted to a series of other non-profit organizations with boards consisting
of a majority of interested persons, with a large portion of the funds going
outside of the United States, to fund foreign political purposes and land
purchases in Israel. It is reasonable to anticipate that the earnings from
the card club/casino operation will be similarly diverted.
also substantial questions about the relationship between Dr. Moskowitz and
redevelopment agency of Hawaiian Gardens (which is also the City Council)
in the provision of public funds to build the casino. Specifically, it is
my understanding that funds were given to Dr. Moskowitz in violation of California
Health and Safety Code section 33426.5(c). That section forbids the direct
use of public redevelopment funds for gambling operations agreed to after
April 1996. It is my understanding that Dr. Moskowitz and the redevelopment
agency did not agree that the development would be a casino until May 1997.
former City Attorney for Hawaiian Gardens advised the City Council/Redevelopment
Agency that their funding of the casino may well be an illegal use of public
funds. After giving that advice, she felt compelled to leave her position.
It is my understanding that she believes that the members of the City Council/Redevelopment
Agency are afraid to deny Dr. Moskowitz whatever he requests because of his
success in recalling defeating their predecessors. Assertions have been made
that the intimidation of public officials and the voting public is a fact
of life in Hawaiian Gardens.
It is my further understanding that the
City of Hawaiian Gardens is severely strapped for cash after having invested
significant sums in the Moskowitz casino operation, and that Dr. Moskowitz
loans money to the city for its daily operations from his non-profit bingo
operation, with the city promising to pay him back from future casino taxes.
It also appears that money is being donated to the city by Dr. Moskowitz
when he needs a permit or variance.
Rather than approving his casino
license, it would be more appropriate to initiate an investigation into the
local governmental operations in Hawaiian Gardens and the relationship between
the city and Dr. Moskowitz. It may well be appropriate for a receiver to
be appointed to run the city and get its finances back in order.
the very least, Dr. Moskowitz practices are questionable. At most, they may
be illegal. In any event, it would not serve the your reputation as Attorney
General to grant the casino license without a thorough investigation by qualified
Thank you for your anticipated courtesy in investigating
these issues. Your recommendation that the casino license not be granted
to Dr. Moskowitz would be very much appreciated.
Very truly yours,
The Coalition for Justice in Hawaiian Gardens and Jerusalem