The property owner and the restaurant operator of Divino Pancho’s Restaurant & Lounge both confirmed that several Milwaukee police officers were present and authorized for a lock change of the restaurant business, but no court order or documentation authorizing their actions was provided to restaurant owner.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
August 28, 2016
Milwaukee, WI – On Sunday, Francisco Sánchez, the owner and operator of F&P Properties, LLC who owns the property at 1701 W. Lincoln Ave., which Divino Pancho’s, LLC operates as a restaurant has confirmed that he was present along with his son Francisco Sánchez Jr., who operates Triple F Properties, LLC when they entered and changed the locks at the rented property, which locked out the operator of Divino Pancho’s, LLC. What makes this incident questionable was that several Milwaukee police officers only identified as P.O. Baas and P.O. Gonzales were also involved and in their police report filed at the Milwaukee Police 2 District Station apparently doesn’t match what transpired, has been alleged and confirmed by both Sánchez and the operator of Divino Pancho’s, LLC. Sánchez told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that police were present and had authorized him to go ahead, break and replace the locks to lock out the operator of Divino Pancho’s for failing to pay the August rent due for $3,000 per month. The operator of Divino Pancho’s also confirmed to HNNUSA that police were present when the locks were changed.
When HNNUSA asked Sánchez, if he had a court order to change the locks, he replied that his lawyer had told him to change the locks and he was just following the law. HNNUSA attempted to contact attorney Walter Brummund, who Sánchez says authorized him to change the locks, but HNNUSA was unable to get a return call from Brummund after a message was left with his receptionist.
The Divino Pancho’s operator told HNNUSA, that around 12:30 a.m. on early Saturday, Sánchez Jr. was called by a female police officer from district 2 and had him come over to the police station and drop off the keys for the business after it was locked because the operator of the Divino Pancho’s business had threaten to go to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office and complain that police officers had been involved in an illegal lock change. The Divino Pancho’s operator was given the new key for the door lock by police to reopen her business and get access to the place.
In brief, on Friday around 5:00 p.m., several Milwaukee police officers allegedly were involved in a change of business locks without legal authority and who told Sánchez to go ahead and change the business locks for an expected eviction of owner of a Mexican restaurant on W. Lincoln Ave. The officers were actually present when the locks were changed, according to the business owner and several witnesses. But, a police report that was later filed by the officers stated they adviced the owner of the property not to change locks without proper legal action and apparently the property owner had agreed.
Captain Heather Wurth was contacted by HNNUSA via email about the incident involving police at the 1701 W. Lincoln Ave. property, but she is unavailable until September 6. Also, Lieutenant Mark Wroblewski, the supervisor in charge at District 2 was contacted by email. Lt. Wroblewski on Monday responded by email and stated, “The Milwaukee Police Department does not do lock changes or evictions. All evictions are handled by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.”
Sánchez only provided the Divino Pancho’s owner with two pieces of paper on August 19, one that he had transferred the 1701 W. Lincoln Ave. property to his son, who operates Triple F Properties, LLC and a second sheet of paper claiming that she still owes $3,000 for August and to pay it or vacate the property by August 26, 2016. HNNUSA checked who actually owns the 1701 W. Lincoln Ave. property with the City of Milwaukee and it still shows that F&P Properties, LLC is listed as the owner of the property on Sunday.
Sánchez has a 5 year rental contract with Divino Pancho’s, LLC and according to the restaurant operator, Sánchez rental contract includes to upper level, which Sánchez allowed to be used as an apartment. That space is listed as office space only and not as an apartment, according to city records. So, it seems Sánchez rented it to Divino Pancho’s, LLC to be used as an apartment.
The operator of Divino Pancho’s also says that Sánchez has kept four vehicles in the parking lot for a year and just remove several of them and hadn’t allowed any parking space for the business owner to use who has been paying rent for the whole property including the rear parking lot in the last year.
Update: Sergeant Timothy Gauerke, spokesman from the Milwaukee Police Department Chief of Police Office on Wednesday contacted Hispanic News Network U.S.A. and confirmed that police do tell property owners that if they want to change the locks and lock out renters it is up to them, but if it breaches the contact between them then, it becomes a legal issue.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (WDFI), F&P Properties, LLC was delinquent in 2011 and 2013, which in January 2014 the business filed for notice of administrative dissolution (to dissolved voluntarily) and in March of 2014 it was granted administrative dissolution. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Francisco Sánchez is listed as owing the state $144,957.38.
On August 1, 2016, the WDFI file shows that Triple F Properties, LLC was organized and filed an E-Form.