Fraternal Order of Police Lodge to be auctioned off

Financial issues have taken their toll on the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #3, in Santa Fe. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

After years of financial turmoil, the Fraternal Order of Police Santa Fe Lodge #3 on the city’s Southside is losing its lodge due to growing debt and a foreclosure on its mortgage.

The lodge, located at 3300 Calle Maria Luisa, is set to be auctioned off by a special master on Jan. 14 on the steps of the First Judicial District Courthouse in Santa Fe due to the fraternal order’s inability to pay the remaining $174,985 on the mortgage.

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Yet, the website for the organization still states, “Your Santa Fe FOP #3 will be re-opening soon!”

According to the County Assessor’s Office, the assessed value of the building is $506,000, while the value of the five acres of land it sits on off Airport Road is worth $544,000.

The 11,680-square-foot building was built in 1982, according to the website. Equipped with a bar, pool tables and slot machines, the building also includes space to accommodate up to 300 people for karaoke, fundraisers, wedding receptions, graduation parties and the like.

In a brief phone conversation last week, a person answering the phone at the lodge’s listed phone number said they were unaware of anything to do with an auction of the property. No one answered follow-up phone calls later in the week. Attorney Cheryl O’Connor, who is the order’s attorney of record for the lawsuit, also did not return requests for comment.

According to court documents, in April, a summary judgment was rendered in favor of 528 Investors, LLC, which had purchased a loan on the property in July 2019 from Century Bank. The bank sold the mortgage because it received a notice of delinquent property taxes from the New Mexico Taxation & Revenue Department due to nonpayment.

In November, a notice of inactivity was filed in the case due to the order’s non-response to the judgment. Then, on Dec. 11, 528 Investors issued a notice of sale for the lodge.

This isn’t the first time the organization has run into financial trouble.

In 2012, it was investigated for a potential embezzlement scheme involving a former civilian employee. The New Mexico Gaming Control Board issued conditions on its slot machine license due to discrepancies with its gaming finance reports, according to previous reporting.

No one was ever charged over the alleged embezzlement as the statue of limitations expired.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported last year that the organization owed an accounting firm about $50,000 for a forensic audit it completed as a result of the embezzlement investigation.

At the time, the organization was in financial strife, with over $100,000 in lost revenue and about $42,000 owed in unpaid property taxes dating back to 2009.

According to the organization’s 990 tax form for the year 2018, the organization had revenues of about $130,000 that year and expenses of $133,000, resulting in a $3,000 loss.

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