Lancaster mayor threatens motel where bikers plan meet

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The mayor of Lancaster is threatening to shut down the Desert Inn motel. KPCC’s Alex Cohen says the city’s trying to thwart the Mongols motorcycle club.

The Mongols club is scheduled to convene its annual meeting this weekend at the Desert Inn. It signed a $16,000 contract with the motel to provide space and rooms for up to 300 members.

But this week, at Lancaster’s city council meeting, Mayor R. Rex Parris described the Mongols as “domestic terrorists” and threatened to shut down the Desert Inn. The motel’s owner says she had no idea who she was dealing with when she arranged the deal. An attorney for the Mongols says members have a right to associate and will sue anyone who stops the event.

Last year authorities arrested dozens of Mongols on federal racketeering charges.