To the editors:
I have been asked by my client Chester Kiercul, the owner of the Capitol Club nightclub and restaurant which was featured in the October 9 Neighborhood News feature of the Reader, to follow up on some of the issues which your writer Ben Joravsky raised.
Mr. Kiercul appreciates the sympathetic response which he has received as a result of the publicity generated by your article. He has been trying hard for some six years to make known his side of the story–and your writer did include some salient points of information.
Mr. Kiercul is surprised at the comments of the controversial neighbor which ended the piece. He hopes that it is well understood that the reason he was forced to hire attorneys as well as a public relations consultant is precisely because he, as an entrepreneurial immigrant, was not previously able to tell his side of the complicated story of just how a small group of persons–for various reasons which may include pure jealousy, the need for one scapegoat to take the blame for the growing petty-crime rate in the neighborhood, and inability to appreciate ethnic culture which differed from their own–sought to drive him and his family from the area by disrupting his business, causing petty grievances to be filed against his business in local courts and harassing him through sporadic marches, bizarre surveillance methods, and even the use of a bomb threat which was phoned in on September 4, 1992, and which is still being investigated.
Mr. Kiercul has done everything possible in order to eliminate the ability of the tiny proportion of his broad range of patrons to disrupt some neighbors after they leave his family establishment–and his efforts to work in good faith with some of the very people who had caused him so much unfair and needless anguish is now finally beginning to pay off.
Mr. Kiercul has met several times with the distinguished commander of the Sixteenth District Jefferson Park Chicago Police in order to assure that police will arrest any local thugs or anti-Polish bigots who might choose to further attempt to disrupt his business. At the same time, the local man who is employed by the Chicago Police Department who is quoted in the story has been told face-to-face that if any of the unusual conduct which has so complicated the life of Mr. Kiercul will be traced to him or to any of the “community organizers” who seem to have organized solely to harass Mr. Kiercul after an alleged failed extortion attempt by one of them, which is noted in Mr. Joravsky’s story of October 9, then civil rights, tortious interference with economic advantage, and other appropriate lawsuits will be filed by Mr. Kiercul–and no more attempts at “reconciliation” will be possible.
Following the meetings with the police commander and with the local alderman, who has now heard Mr. Kiercul’s horrendous tales of persecution, Mr. Kiercul believes that this sad saga will soon be ended. In fact, the local policeman/neighbor and another community resident met face-to-face with Mr. Kiercul recently. Both sides discussed the past, often in emotion-tinged outbursts, but at the same time promised to work together on making sure that the Capitol Club expands its clientele in order that the neighborhood would be revivified–and property values of the neighbors might increase again.
At the same time, even as I write, I have received word that Mr. Kiercul has learned that–in the best Chicago tradition of vicious zoning designed to destroy those who have spoken out about unfairness–he apparently has had carved out for him a “special” precinct in which his club is the only establishment with a liquor license. Mr. Kiercul wonders whether this is yet another attempt to eventually “vote him dry” and force him from the neighborhood. We hope not. If this is the real purpose of this unusual distinction, then maybe an eventual court judgment including punitive damages against any and all perpetrators of such a naughty scheme will end this matter once and for all.
Adam J. Augustynski