Karma Owner Files Lawsuit Against Seaside Heights

Photo by Bob Vosseller

SEASIDE HEIGHTS – A borough business owner has filed suit in federal court against Seaside Heights and numerous officials for targeting his business in “unconstitutional, discriminatory and racist” ways, according to the lawsuit.

John P. Saddy, represented by Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger of Freehold, filed the lawsuit Nov. 14, naming the borough, officials and police officers in the 33-page document.

Saddy, who owns Club Karma (which as shut down in May 2018), The Bamboo Bar, and commercial parking lots in the borough, said in the suit that “Defendant, Borough of Seaside Heights, through its elected governing body; employees; officials; and/or appointees, and its Police Department, has a history of abusing power and taking retaliatory actions against residents and/or citizens for exercising their constitutional rights.”

It continues: “Through its Council Members; Municipal Employees; Officials; Appointees; and its Police Officers, including the individually named Defendants, Defendant, Borough of Seaside Heights, has implemented and maintains an unconstitutional, discriminatory and racist policy, practice and/or custom of discouraging and limiting African-American and LGBTQ visitors to Seaside Heights.”

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The lawsuit alleges that a pattern of retaliation and abuse against uncooperative business owners exists within the borough’s police department and government. The suit details a long history of such abuses Saddy alleges, starting in the 1990s and ending with the shuttering of Club Karma Memorial Day weekend.

The lawsuit alleges that officials have told Saddy that his nightclubs “were responsible for destroying the family-town image of Seaside Heights.”

Photo courtesy Ocean County Scanner News Facebook Page

Saddy is seeking damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and any other relief a jury finds justifiable.

Seaside Heights is represented by attorney Jean Cipriani of Gilmore and Monahan in Toms River. She provided this statement to Jersey Shore Online.

“The Borough absolutely denies these outrageous, false and inflammatory allegations made by an individual who is looking for money and who is willing to make wild and unsupported smears about public servants in pursuit of that money.

“The Borough of Seaside Heights does not discriminate on the basis of race or sexual preference or identity. Period.

“This false complaint stems from the Borough’s application earlier this year seeking injunctive relief against Saddy’s operation of a business in outside of its Planning Board approvals.

“Saddy has fabricated lawsuits in the past to gain an advantage in litigation: in 2016 a jury found that he that he filed a false criminal complaint and a civil complaint that had no basis whatsoever, in order to counter a civil suit brought by an individual who had been injured in one of his nightclubs. The court is that case. Saddy v. Morris, found Saddy to be ‘disingenuous.’ The same court and the appellate division upheld the finding of a $50,000 punitive damages award against Saddy for ‘malice.’

“Mr. Saddy’s current complaint against the Borough and Borough officials demonstrates that he is just as disingenuous and malicious now as he was then.”