Restaurant owners sought $6.1M
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 05/28/2011 10:13:32 PM PDT

UPLAND – The City Council has rejected a $6.1 million claim for damages filed in April by the owners of the Chronic Cantina.

Chronic Cantina is seeking damages resulting from the revocation of its conditional use permit in April 2009.

Last month, the limited liability company’s attorney, Brian McCormack, said litigation would be pursued if the city rejected their claim.

However, McCormack could not be reached for comment.

Should the case head to trial, Chronic Cantina will seek treble damages under the RICO Act, increasing the $6.1 million to more than $18 million.

They would also seek attorney fees as well as general, exemplary and punitive damages.

Mayor Ray Musser said he thinks the council made the right decision.

“We handled it correctly, so we feel strongly that it was handled correctly, so we’re not bracing ourselves,” Musser said. “Hopefully, it’s behind us. Time will tell. I feel they have misconceptions and they’re lumping two situations together and that’s not correct, so we’ll see.”

Chronic Cantina, which is owned by Keith Scheinberg and Dan Biello, accuse former Mayor John Pomierski, former Building Appeals Board member John Hennes and Police Chief Steve Adams of extorting money from them in order to allow Chronic Cantina to stay open.

According to the complaint, Chronic Cantina paid Pomierski, Hennes and Adams $15,000. The three city officials demanded an additional $25,000. When the business owners did not pay, the council revoked their conditional use permit.

The council pulled the permit on the basis of an increase in police calls to the restaurant.

Chronic Cantina representatives have claimed in court that the calls actually were made elsewhere in the city, but attributed to the restaurant to justify the revocation.

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