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Comptroller’s Audit: Carltun on the Park Owes County Over $500,000

Carltun Commencing $15 Million Lawsuit

Against County, Weitzman, Others

According to a recent audit by Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman, the Carltun on the Park, the upscale restaurant and catering facility, did not report $4.3 million in revenue and owes the County $504,885 in fees.

The Comptroller’s office reported the findings of its audit on Carltun on the Park, located on the grounds of Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, in a press conference on Tuesday Dec. 8.

The Carltun was audited by the comptroller’s office for the period of January 2004 to December 2006.

The Carltun did not return calls for comment but did provide Anton Newspapers with a press release, announcing, “it is commencing a $15 million lawsuit against the County of Nassau, its agents, servants and employees, including Nassau Comptroller Howard S. Weitzman, Deputy Comptroller Aline Khathadourian and Deputy Director of Field Audit Lisa S. Tsikouras by reason of intentionally issuing a false and erroneous audit report alleging that The Carltun ‘owes the County’ more than $500,000.”

The Law Office of Anthony A. Capetola, an owner of The Carltun, is representing the company in the lawsuit.

According to a press release from the Comptroller’s office, “The audit reveals a lengthy menu of shortcomings on part of the restaurant’s management, including underpaying the County $504,885; under reporting its gross revenues by $4.3 million; taking unauthorized deductions of its monthly rental payments to the County; and failing to fully comply with the two licensing agreements between the Carltun and the County.”

Weitzman explained that Carltun has two agreements with Nassau County, both of which include “a monthly fixed fee and an additional payment of a percentage of the gross receipts.”

“The 1995 agreement leases the main areas of the facility (includes the Palm Court Restaurant, the Grand Ballroom, the Drawing Room, the Wine Cellar, the Tap Room, and the Havana’s Cigar Club). A second agreement signed in 2003 leases two other parts of the facility to Carltun (the Gatsby Room and Clubhouse Restaurant),” Weitzman’s report stated.

Weitzman’s report on the audit’s reveals, the Carltun “taking unauthorized deductions off its monthly rental payments to the County and failing to fully comply with the two licensing agreements between the Carltun and the County.”

The Carltun’s sources of revenue include party service charges, forfeited deposits from cancelled affairs, additional catering sales, commission income, additional sales of food and liquor at the Clubhouse and Gatsby restaurants, memberships and tobacco, vendor fee income, gift certificate income, and other income, all of which Carltun failed to report a portion, Weitzman’s report said.

In his law office’s press release, Capetola states Weitzman’s statements are “false and defamatory” and that Weitzman “raises the very same issues considered by previous audits.”

Capetola states in the press release “despite repeated calls to Comptroller Weitzman during the course of the audit period, he failed to return even one call to discuss the matters contained in his report.”

He goes on to state in the press release, “The lawsuit will also seek a declaration of the rights of the parties under two leases, one dated 1995 and the other in 2003 between the County and Carltun on the Park.”

“Carltun had previously undergone two prior audits concerning the very same issues raised in the Comptroller’s report, the last of which the County claimed that Carltun was indebted to the County for more than $1,750,000. That was settled with the County with no dollars being paid to the County by the Carltun because the County recognized the accuracy of the Carltun’s claims and the erroneous nature of the audit.”

Comptroller Weitzman had this to say regarding the prior audits and litigation; “We conducted an audit of the Carltun for the period January 2004 to December 2006. We found the Carltun did not report $4.3 million in revenues and underpaid the County $504,885 during the time that the audit covered. After litigation the Carltun resolved its prior dispute with the County and those past issues have nothing to do with this audit.”