While Judge Rejects Request to Replace Alfredo Diaz as Revolver’s Manager, Embezzlement Suit Is Still Pending

Alfredo Diaz
Alfredo Diaz

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge today denied a motion by Chris Miller, co-owner of West Hollywood’s Revolver Video Bar, to replace his business partner, Alfredo Diaz, as the bar’s manager and to severely restrict Diaz’s access to Revolver’s receipts.  However a lawsuit filed Tuesday by Miller alleging that Diaz embezzled revenue from and mismanaged Revolver still stands.

“We appeared in court this morning on Chris’s lawsuit, and it was defeated,” Diaz said. “It was a staggering defeat. My attorneys were able to prove that his declarations were false, and I remain the controlling partner in my company.”

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Miller accused Diaz of embezzling money from Revolver to pay personal expenses and of various forms of mismanagement, including failure to pay $300,000 in California sales tax. Diaz said his lawyers presented evidence today contradicting Miller’s allegations and that the claim that he had failed to pay state taxes was untrue.

Despite Diaz’s claim to have defeated Miller’s suit, Steven Schiffres,  attorney for Miller, said that the judge’s decision applied only to Miller’s request that Diaz be immediately removed as Revolver’s manager. He said they will continue to press forward with the suit alleging embezzlement and financial mismanagement.

“Chris Miller submitted substantial proof of serious improprieties on the part of Mr. Diaz in managing Revolver Video Bar. We believe that such proof justifies the removal and replacement of Mr. Diaz as Revolver’s Manager,” Schiffres said in a statement to WEHOville.

“Courts, however, are always reticent to impose extraordinary relief such as the removal of a Manager on one day ex parte notice and without either party having done any discovery and without a full hearing. Accordingly,  the Court’s denial of Mr. Miler’s ex parte application for extraordinary relief is not unusual. Nor is it the end of the case.

“Mr. Miller is confident that when the Court hears all the proof and all the witnesses, that it too will conclude that there were indeed serious improprieties in Mr. Diaz’s management of Revolver and that the matter will ultimately resolve in favor of Mr. Miller and Revolver.”

In an interview with WEHOville, Diaz denied Miller’s accusations of mismanagement and embezzlement  “I can tell you that Mr. Miller was always on the same page with the way I have operated this company,” Diaz said. “There was complete transparency.”

Revolver's Chris Miller, left, and Alfredo Diaz.
Revolver’s Chris Miller, left, and Alfredo Diaz.

Diaz has characterized the lawsuit as an attempt to bully him because of his opposition to the opening of Cooley’s, a restaurant and bar proposed by David Cooley, founder of The Abbey, on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard east of Robertson. Diaz, whose Revolver is nearby on the southwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Larrabee, asked the West Hollywood City Council last month to deny Cooley’s request for variations in the city code that would allow him to build the “gastropub,” which will include outdoor dining facing Santa Monica Boulevard and in the rear facing West Hollywood Park.  At the hearing before the Council, Diaz spoke against the Cooley’s project while Miller joined David Cooley in speaking for it. The Council granted permission for construction of Cooley’s.

Revolver opened on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Larrabee Street in West Hollywood’s gay “Boystown” in October 2011. It replaced a bar called East/West, opened by Trip Wilmot in 2005, that went out of business in 2011. East/West was the successor to the original Revolver, which took its name from its revolving door. It opened in 1982, embracing the video bar craze fostered by MTV, which launched two years earlier.

Miller and Diaz each own 44.5 percent of Loaded Gun LLC, Revolver’s parent company. Kenneth Linzer, a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Hobart Linzer, which has represented Loaded Gun, owns ten percent, and Ofir Lang, vice president for marketing at Nathan’s Glass and Mirror, owns one percent. Miller says he contributed the money to open the business.

  1. Larry, my friend, it seems a bit hypocritical to argue on one hand that people should essentially mind their own business and let the folks at Revolver (a personal favorite of mine actually) work things out between themselves, and on the other hand, you would draw people’s attention to some very serious allegations against people like John Duran, a friend and colleague of mine, without any support (either legal, factual, or otherwise from what I can see) or reason for doing so other than to get people talking and gossiping, presumably what you do not want to see happen with regards to any Revolver issues… I just caution you that making insinuations about members of the community without support not only creates unnecessary confusion, anger, suspicions, etc. when people should be focusing on facts and important issues that have relevance and factual and legal support, but it also causes potential harm to the reputation of those involved even if there is no evidence to support the allegations. Also, I know that if one were to make false statements or insinuations about me (and I am not claiming you ever did anything of the sort, nor am I claiming you are doing so here; I’m merely stating that you are attempting to make allegations and not following them up with action or providing any evidence or factual basis to support them from what I can see), for example, I would ensure that all legal remedies were explored to restore my good name. Having said all that, I hope you know I mean no harm by my comment, and that I remain a fan of your store and always encourage people to shop there and say hello to Mr. Larry whenever possible.

  2. Revolvers’ owner seems to have a boatload of “issues”.
    [A] he needs a new accountant,
    [B] He needs a new Lawyer
    [C] He needs to focus 100% of his attention on HIS business instead of what is happening down the street.

    Unless the “Manager” has a iron clad contract, ANY business owner should be able to terminate any employee he feels is stealing from him.

    If the owner was concentrating on his own business, taking of the money himself, then he would not get cheated. There has to be some sort of checks and balances. Receipts for the shift must balance the cash drawer. Period. If not. Snip that in the bud immediately. DO NOT wait weeks or months until it is thousands of dollars.

    Buy other the partner, or sell to the partner if you do not want to be in business with them or do not trust them.

    Sort of basic common sense!

  3. Romanoff – help disabled residents? I went to the social services department and was told there was nothing they could do to help me because I was not 65. I am disabled.

    The Rent Stabilization Board ruled in my favor. My landlord refused to do repairs. All I got was a small rent reduction. I need the repairs done. There is no teeth to the rent stabilization law. They can’t make landlords do anything. The legal department told me my landlord was guilty of multiple counts of harassment. What did they do? NOTHING!

  4. Buzzcut/Mary123: lol…you two crack me up. This “cesspool” is one of the few places in Southern California with good streets, reliable emergency services, money in the bank to help elderly and disabled residents. You two are both sad and narrow minded.

    In a city this small, people know each other. Just because person “A” is somehow connected to person “B”, doesn’t mean any impropriety has taken place.

    Larry Block: Your pandering is getting just plain silly now. We know, you want to be on city council. You’ve yet to offer anything helpful insight on to how you will improve a city that is already working well, only defenses for your friends.

    This is the first I’m hearing about “Dining on the Park”….what an amazing idea. I love this and hope it happens.

  5. This is all so WeHo..nothing changes. Of course Duran influenced the permit process. Of course Lehman asked him to do it.
    This nonsense has been a part of the sitting Council since inception.
    The Attorney General has wasted years and thousands of dollars trying to rid the city of this silliness. Example, the misuse of City credit cards. Yes, they proved all of them knowingly misused credit cards..the upshot, they, the council; voted to punish themselves by paying back the money. No jail time, no blemish..they report to themselves.
    All things we should worry about as son as term limits kick in. Maybe sooner if the newer residents get sick of the noise…

  6. Larry, if you think there has been something illegal, unethical or just plain wrong that went on with Cooley’s, Duran and Lehman, then contact the District Attorney or the Attorney General and request that they investigate. Your attempts to muddy Duran, et al with your innuendo gets old when no further steps are taken to get to the truth. Stop making the accusations and move on to action, please.

  7. I would greatly appreciate if everybody took a step back and let Chris and Alfredo work out their differences between themselves or in a court. My neighbors, both Alfredo and Chris have worked hard to resurrect Revolver and put our neighborhood bar back on the map. To the many who ask me or my staff about ‘what’s going on’ the answer is .. simple.. “Go buy a drink at Revolver and ask the bartender” Please don’t ask me or my staff for information.

    On another note.. let’s go back to the Cooley’s hearing and ask yourself how this ‘behind the scenes stuff’ affected that vote. It’s just strange to me that Mark Lehman is on the park design review committee, and represents Cooley’s for dining on the park……but the subject of dining on the park was not mentioned at that design review. It’s just strange that John Duran shares an office with Mark Lehman and Duran is the one who made the motion to restore Cooley’s to it’s original application form which planning turned down. It’s just too close for comfort to think that these behind the scenes issues known only to David Cooley, Mark Lehman and a few others could have prejudiced the integrity of the vote on the park.

    It’s time to push the lawyers aside, the innuendo’s away and sit down face to face with the same love and passion that you both dared to dream when you brought Revolver back to Santa Monica Blvd.

  8. Diaz should get a better lawyer to explain to him the difference between a denial of a motion and a denial of a lawsuit. And then characterizing the responses to his own voluntary baseless attacks on Cooleys as “bullying” is offensive. Diaz should figure out what karma is.

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