James Dolan, owner of Madison Square Garden, has been accused of hiring a private investigator to set up a 100-mile liquor authority inspector amid a bitter dispute over state beverage laws.
Dolan, who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, introduced facial recognition software in his field to identify and block attorneys working to prosecute him.
The bizarre tactic prompted the state liquor authority to launch an investigation into whether he violated state laws that require establishments to serve the general public. After catching wind of the investigation, Dolan allegedly identified the authority’s inspector, Charles Stravalli, and ordered the PI to follow him home.
Dolan’s alleged cloak-and-dagger tactics are the latest in a series of clashes with the liquor authority, which could jeopardize the Dolan mogul’s ambitions to build a $2.2 billion entertainment mega-venue in Las Vegas.
This episode featured Dolan’s apparent desire to respond to the Liquor Authority’s investigations, including one into embattled Lavo nightclub – the sale of which is key to his Las Vegas construction project.
MSG Entertainment denied that Stravalle’s tail was related to the nightclub sale when contacted by DailyMail.com, although the inspector had previously been investigating Manhattan for the past month.
James Dolan, pictured, allegedly ordered the PI to authorize a state liquor licensing board inspector amid a bitter alcohol licensing dispute
Dolan, who owns Madison Square Garden, pictured, got into a bitter dispute with the SLA over renewing the square’s liquor license
Dolan’s company, MSG Entertainment, acknowledged that it had hired the private eye, but defended the tactic as “common and legal practice”.
Straval says he realized a black Chevrolet was idling about 100 miles away after spotting the car on his back all day earlier this month.
Once again, Straval spotted the same car parked in front of his Queens home and witnessed the driver pointing the camera at him, and called the police.
Dolan’s rivalry with a state liquor authority inspector reportedly flared in February after Stravalli was assigned to look into Dolan’s hot spot at Manhattan Laveau after an incident that saw a reveler slashed across his face.
After the inspection, Stravalle found more than 30 violations including unauthorized fireworks for slicing meat covered in “stale food,” according to The New York Times.
The potentially threatening revelations came as the nightclub, owned by MSG Entertainment’s Tao Group, is sold by Dolan as he tries to auction off the subsidiary to fund his mega Vegas structure.
But his feud with Stravale comes amid a year-long rivalry with the liquor authority that also saw Dolan publicly deride the body as a joy-killer meant to deny beer to sports fans.
Besides managing Madison Square Garden and several establishments around New York, Dolan also owns the Knicks and the Rangers.
His iconic arena’s license to operate a New York City sports arena expires in July, and Dolan’s attempts to permanently renew the license have reportedly been the subject of intense debate within the licensing authority.
At the same time, the New York State Senate also aims to exempt Garden from the $43 million a year property tax.
James Dolan, right, is the CEO of MSG Entertainment, which also owns the Knicks and Rangers sports teams.
Stravalli’s alleged tailing came shortly after an SLA inspector investigated Dolan’s Manhattan nightclub, Lavoe. His company, MSG Entertainment, denied that the move had anything to do with the nightclub
With Dolan under increasing pressure, he installs facial recognition software, a move he has championed, and blocks several attorneys after claiming they were working for a government agency to revoke an arena’s liquor license.
In a controversial petition filed with Manhattan Supreme Court this month, Dolan reportedly asked the judge to halt the authority’s investigations into his dealings and said it was a “gangster-like government organization.”
In a statement to DailyMail.com, MSG’s co-lawyer, Jim Walden of Walden Macht & Haran, said: “MSG didn’t start this. What’s going on in the SLA is just unseemly – it’s a bureaucracy out of control.”
We found credible evidence of actual collusion, with the SLA being used as a bidding weapon for Plantiv’s lawyers.
Now the SLA is blocking our efforts to get all the evidence. We will expose the SLA’s misconduct through the legal tools we have to defend MSG.
Referring to Straval’s crusade against Dolan, the report also claims that he launched an “anti-MSG harassment campaign.”
“Stravall spent nearly half the time asking questions unrelated to the alleged aim of the SLA investigation,” the recording file said, referring to a recent interview the former cop had with Dolan.
Instead, he asked questions based on speculative media reports or shared his own opinions on Venue Policy. He was hostile and combative throughout the interview.
Dolan’s use of facial recognition software to block his legal opponents from entering Madison Square Garden came as his dispute with the Liquor Board escalated.
But he defended the tactic in an interview with Good Day New York in January, saying, “If you’re suing us, we’re just asking you please don’t come over until you’ve finished arguing with us — the end.”
“And yes, we use facial recognition to enforce that.”
DISCLAIMER:- Denial of responsibility! olorinews.com is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email at email@example.com The content will be deleted within 24 hours.