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MIAMI, FL, US, July 17, 2021 / -- Documents appear to implicate James Goldstein of Midgard Group and public figure Francisco Herretes

Since August 2020, the landlord-tenant dispute at Churchill’s Pub (“Churchill’s”) has pitted the tenant-operator, District Live Agency (“DLA”), against landlord Mallory Kauderer (“Kauderer”). Case #2020-018438-CC-05 and2021-010914-CA-01. DLA has alleged repeatedly that Kauderer committed multiple acts of fraud, intimidation, and harassment over the past year, culminating in an eviction proceeding DLA characterizes as a form of retaliation stemming from a dispute over $192,500 in pandemic relief funds. DLA manager Franklin Dale (“Dale”) says the funds should have gone to pay rents, settle vendor accounts, fund payroll for the venue’s employees, and make needed structural improvements to Churchill’s, which is located at 5501 NE 2nd Avenue in Miami’s Little Haiti. Instead of fulfilling these purposes, Dale claims that Kauderer absconded with the funds and that Kauderer, a licensed Real Estate Broker, had failed to disclose the state of disrepair of parts of the property when it was initially leased on April 1, 2019. Dale also claims that Kauderer is working with developers Midgard Group (“Midgard”) as part of a larger plan to drive Churchill’s out of business and to redevelop the stretch of Little Haiti that contains Churchill’s. Dale also alleges that Kauderer and Midgard deployed partner Francisco Herretes (“Herretes”), who not only plays a major role in the Downtown Little Haiti Opportunity Zone project with Midgard and Kauderer, but also serves as Chairman of Art in Public Places, to aid in their plan to redevelop the area. Herretes was even named on the witness list to provide testimony in support of Kauderer’s account of the dispute at a court hearing on July 1, 2021.

However, according to a Zoom call between Dale and Herretes from August 4, 2020—just one of the many pieces of evidence recently uploaded to the site—Herretes appeared to position himself as a mediator striving to equitably resolve the dispute between Dale and Kauderer. “As a landlord, we can't put you in a position where you need something and we took it and we're not giving it to you,” Herretes can be heard saying to Dale. “So we took it, okay? I know why. It's not a good reason, but we took it. Now we need to find a way for you to take control of it.”

“With regard to the SBA money that Mallory controls right now based off of the Churchill’s operations, you know, we need to find a way to put that into your hands so you can invest it so you can invest it into Churchill’s, right?” Herretes later adds in the recording. “The only way to make it a part of that loan is to give that loan to you because of your operation. Right? Because that money should go to the operation,” he also says.

Throughout the conversation, Herretes seems eager to not only find solutions that work for both parties, but also frequently questions Kauderer’s business acumen, decision to take the funds meant for Churchill’s, and ability to maintain accurate financial records, telling Dale, “If Mallory's ever audited like that and we, you know, we die; we get slaughtered. This cannot be that type of operation.”

DLA characterizes their decision to release the documents on as a response to the belief that they cannot get a fair day in court, especially after Herretes appeared as a witness on Kauderer’s behalf. Additionally, they believe that more public officials need to face greater public scrutiny. “This is more than just a landlord-tenant dispute in Little Haiti,” Dale said. “This is a David vs Goliath tale, a story about climate gentrification, and how one of Miami’s most legendary live music venues has fought to survive in the wake of a global pandemic. We refuse to be bullied or to have the law weaponized or government aid against us. We are part of a community, and we are here to stand up and defend our businesses and our families from bad actors.

“These developers and everyone in their pockets need to be held accountable,” Dale concluded.

About District Live Agency
District Live Agency is a nightlife hospitality group from Miami, FL.

Pablo Barg
District Live Agency
+1 305-922-9016
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