'Jersey Shore' club owner says recording shows Seaside Heights discriminates against minorities

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, New Jersey (WABC) -- The owner of a club made famous on the hit MTV show 'Jersey Shore' says secret recordings prove that town leaders in Seaside Heights discriminate against minorities.

Club Karma is just a shell of what the nightclub once was. Back in the day, it hosted the cast from the show.

Club owner John Saddy has declared bankruptcy after closing down following arrests for underage drinking and drug use.

But his lawyer claims the club was targeted because the owner wanted to bring in more hip hop music and minority clientele.

"You know they didn't like black people in town and they were complaining if I played hip hop or whatever," said Saddy.

A secret audio recording between Saddy and a former town official, John Camera, is being used as evidence to show the town looks down on minorities.

"I was sent down, asked to go check out what kind of crowd there was there," Camera is heard saying on the recording. "The word was you were having all kinds of people they didn't want in town, catering to different ethnic groups that were a problem."

"Seaside, they think it's like 1960," said Saddy.

The lawyer for the club owner believes his client's desire to bring in gays and minorities to boost business was unwelcome.

"They're trying to promote this image as a family environment," said lawyer Tom Mallon. "But in reality, it's a white family environment."

The borough attorney for Seaside Heights issued a statement that read in part:
"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 its Planning Board approvals."

Club Karma's doors have been shut down since Memorial Day weekend and the owner owes over $500,000.

But the lawyer for the community says everybody is welcome in Seaside Heights.

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