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Amateur Sports Center Bingo Games Illegal, Suit Says : Charities: State attorney general also charges that executive director gets 'excessive' pay, which he denies.


SANTA ANA — A suit filed by the state Tuesday against Amateur Sports Training Centers of Orange County charges that it operates bingo games in violation of state law and that it pays its executive director "excessive and unfair compensation."

The suit filed in Orange County Superior Court by the state attorney general's office alleges that the director, James V. Remmey, 58, of Newport Beach, received up to $202,000 from fund raising, some of it from bingo games.

"We're not as bad as they're making us look to be," Remmey said Tuesday night. The 7-year-old organization, he said, has "really done a lot of good things."

The suit alleges that the group violates state law, which requires that bingo games be operated "solely for charitable purposes," that "they be staffed only by members of the organization" and that money raised "shall not be commingled with any other fund or account."

According to the suit, ASTC has no members and "has paid profits, wages and/or salaries from its bingo games to various individuals," particularly Remmey.

The complaint asks that Remmey and the other directors return his "excessive compensation" to the organization and the state of California, plus interest.

Remmey said he did not agree that his compensation was excessive for a nonprofit organization, whose fund-raising is divided about evenly between bingo at the organization's two facilities and door-to-door solicitations throughout California.

According to the complaint, Remmey was paid $191,346 in 1991.

Also in 1991, his organization raised $2.5 million to $3 million, Remmey said Tuesday night, and made approximately $700,000 in grants to various amateur training programs.

In 1992, according to the complaint, Remmey was paid $202,000. That year, Remmey said, the organization raised approximately $1.5 million and was awarded $300,000 in grants.

In 1993, Remmey said, he received $112,000, "because of the recession" and its impact on fund-raising.

Also named in the complaint were board members Sara S. Remmey; Vance E. Remmey; Bruce Walker; David Meyers; T.J. Kerrigan; David Gingrich; Joan Colberg and William Doyle.

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