Qns. Village vet fights VFW post

By Howard Koplowitz

The Queens Village veteran and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars John F. Prince Post at 242-37 Braddock Ave. in Bellerose said the post has failed to provide accurate financial records and update its membership roster despite orders from two Queens Supreme Court judges to do so for more than 10 years.”I'm the victim of a sinister cover-up conspiracy,” Holloran said.VFW records showed that his membership in the organization was revoked for three years and he said that was because he pressed for the Bellerose post to provide financial disclosure. Queens Supreme Court Justice Patricia Saterfield ordered the post to reinstate him back on Aug. 29, 2001, but it took the post six months to act on that order, according to their records.”They're just making a mockery of what the post is supposed to be,” Holloran said of the VFW members.Lawrence Schachner, the commander of the post and a veteran of World War II, did not want to speak on the record on the advice of his attorney.David Portnoy, once the Vietnam vet's pro bono lawyer who has not represented him for a few years, said among funds that the post has mainly not accounted for are the sale of liquor, revenue from slot machines on the post's premises and money earned by renting out the hall for special occasions.Holloran also said that four VFW posts in Queens closed down in the last 15 years and were incorporated into the Prince post, but the money from the sale of the land where those posts were situated have not been accounted for.He said he does not currently have an attorney, but will take steps to retain one if the VFW does not supply the records by next month.Portnoy said that the older VFW members who are not providing the disclosure are World War II veterans, who are often at odds with the younger generations of veterans.He said their age was a factor in him not pursuing his client's demand more aggressively.”You don't want to move for contempt against old veterans,” Portnoy said, noting that when he saw them in court “I said 'holy s—,' look what I'm up against.”When asked why Holloran is still fighting the case for so long without achieving any results, the attorney said “he wants the right thing to be done.”Holloran said he has written letters to all levels of the VFW command as well as U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Gov. George Pataki, State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, but the plea has appeared to have fallen on deaf ears.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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