Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Badlands mediation deal


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Both sides in the Badlands dispute have agreed to mediation with former Mayor Willie Brown, after a previous attempt earlier this month collapsed following a last-minute change in the conditions by bar owner Les Natali.

Natali's attorney, Steve Goldstein, told the Bay Area Reporter Tuesday, August 23 that both he and Julius Turman, the attorney for the complainants, have agreed to mediation. Under the new conditions, the complainants and their attorneys, Natali and his attorneys, and three community observers from each side will participate, Goldstein said.

"Julius and I have agreed to put the mediation back on track," Goldstein said.

Turman confirmed the latest development in an e-mail to the B.A.R . On Wednesday, Goldstein said the two sides have agreed to meet September 7. Brown was asked by Mayor Gavin Newsom in June to serve as mediator in the long-running dispute.

Natali has been accused of racist practices at the Castro District bar and complaints were filed with the city's Human Rights Commission in June 2004. In April, following a 10-month investigation, the HRC found that Natali had engaged in racist policies relating to checking IDs of patrons and a "no bag" policy that was "rarely enforced against white patrons," according to the HRC report. Natali has appealed the HRC's findings and has denied the charges.

An investigation by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control was concluded last month and found insufficient evidence to support revoking Natali's liquor license.

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