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Lancaster mayor trying to keep Mongols motorcycle club out of town

Mayor R. Rex Parris has moved to shut down a local motel that had agreed to accommodate the bikers during an annual meeting this weekend.

July 17, 2009|Ann M. Simmons

Determined to prevent the Mongols motorcycle club from using a Lancaster motel to host its annual meeting this weekend, the city's mayor has taken steps to shut down the establishment.

Mayor R. Rex Parris said the members of the Mongols, which law enforcement agencies consider a violent biker gang, are not welcome in Lancaster because they "are engaged in domestic terrorism . . . and they kill our children."

Parris said owners of the Desert Inn, whom the Mongols had agreed to pay more than $16,000 for the use of 113 rooms, the banquet hall, restaurant and bar, had been in violation of several regulations, such as being late on paying transient occupancy taxes.

Parris said that the city had been working with the Desert Inn over the last several months to try to help it stay in business. But when the city asked that the motel renege on hosting the Mongols, he said, the owners would not comply.

The owners of the motel did not return calls for comment.

Albert Perez Jr., a Los Angeles-based attorney retained by the Mongols, said his clients were expecting a full refund and would take legal action if the motel reopened Monday, which he said would confirm why the motel was shut down.

The Mongols still plan to go to Lancaster for a Friday night street fair and have found alternative accommodations. He declined to say where.

"They're upset because they're getting a bad rap," Perez said.

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ann.simmons@atimes.com

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