SF's Jelly's club to defy eviction notice

August 18, 2010 6:59:30 PM PDT
A San Francisco club south of the Giants' ballpark is supposed to close at midnight because the Port of San Francisco terminated its lease. That happened after a man was fatally shot outside Jelly's last month. But an attorney for the club says they're defying the order and suing the city.

The lease of Jelly's Dance Club at pier 50 is up at midnight on Wednesday.

"We are going to fight the eviction and we expect to continue operating until we get resolution in court," Jelly's attorney Whitney Leigh said.

Jelly's has been around 16 years, but the port evicted them after 39-year-old Lee Farley of Richmond was killed in front of the club last month. In 2008, another man was fatally shot during a fight outside the club.

A spokesperson told ABC7 violence and noise are violations of the lease and they want more control over the property.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says the business needs to be held accountable.

"At a certain point enough is enough. We're at that point. I know it's hard for them to come to grips with that. So, I'm not surprised by what they did," he said.

But Leigh says it's not about the shooting. He claims the eviction is retaliation after Jelly's complained about raw sewage being dumped into the bay from port pipes adjacent to the club.

He has filed a claim against the city for unlawful termination and retaliation and for what the club calls defamatory statements.

Leigh says Jelly's has complied with every required safety measure. But that's not enough for attorney Arnold Laub who is representing the family of Farley, blaming club security.

"Why can't you insure that people doing your security are qualified? I think that's an issue, and I think the city should do something about it," he said.

While the city moves to shut down the club. The family considers a lawsuit that could be in the millions, according to Laub.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera told ABC7 that since the club has a month-to-month lease, the port can give them a 30-days notice and then evict them.

Even so, Leigh has a meeting scheduled with the port on August 26 and he hopes to keep the club open.


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