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Orange fencing blocks the 159th Street entrance to the Riviera Country Club in Orland Park on Sunday after it was ordered closed by the village for code violations. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Orange fencing blocks the 159th Street entrance to the Riviera Country Club in Orland Park on Sunday after it was ordered closed by the village for code violations. (Photo by Bob Bong)

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Riviera Country Club closed down, liquor license yanked

By Jeff Vorva

In 1973, the Orland Park Board of Trustees, of which Donald Pekau was a member, voted to annex the property that became the site of the Riviera Country Club.

Now, 48 years later, Pekau’s son, Keith is the mayor who is overseeing a mess involving the Riviera.

As head of the liquor commission, Pekau pulled the country club’s liquor license Monday during a hearing four days after the village shut the club down for numerous heath violations.

The closing also came a day after Orland Park Police and U.S. Federal Marshals arrested Lee Anglin, who was wanted on a parole violation. He had served 12 years for his role in a $10 million scam involving real estate. He was supposed to return to prison for six more months starting June 29. His wife, Jenni, was believed to be the Riviera’s new owner.

During a hearing on Monday, it was hazy as to who actually owns the Riviera.

Longtime owner and president Daniel O’Donnell is the man whose name is on the liquor license, according to Pekau, and is still the owner as far as the village is concerned. O’Donnell closed the club last year because of COVID-19 concerns.

But the club’s Facebook page in May had a post signed by “Lee & Jenny” that said the club was being taken over by 96point Capital Investments Inc. under a subsidy called O.P Sports Center LLC.

The club re-opened in mid-June and, according to Orland Park prosecutor Donna Norton, police contacted Jenni Anglin and the club’s vice president and general manager Gabriel Orozco who never completed an application for background checks.

Police eventually received word that Lee was allegedly living on the property in a banquet room called the “Bridal Suite” and he was taken into custody on July 28.

The following day, the club was closed down by the village for a series of health violations regarding an electrical panel, standing water and mold. Business and elevator licenses also needed to be updated.

At Monday’s hearing, there was no representative from Riviera but Norton read a statement from O’Donnell, saying, “Please cancel and terminate these licenses immediately. I have no objection to or defense to the revocation of these licenses. As of today’s date [Aug. 2], the business is closed.”

More than 20 people were at the hearing in Village Hall looking for answers on membership dues, lost wages and deposits on weddings.

Pekau said the village could handle criminal charges against the Riviera but not civil charges. Village Manager George Koczwara told the audience that in coming days, people who had items in the club’s lockers will be able to retrieve them.

Pekau, who owned a landscaping business and has a consulting business, said, “As a business owner and as a resident, I understand the anger. I’ve been defrauded on more than one occasion as a business owner.

“But I would like to thank our staff for acting swiftly and keeping this problem from getting worse.”

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