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Dispatcher's bar seized for unpaid taxes in Lackawanna; Proprietor owes state more than $16,000

A Lackawanna bar owned by a city police dispatcher who formerly served on the School Board was seized Thursday by the state for unpaid taxes.

Agents from the state Department of Taxation and Finance conducted a morning raid at Woody's Pub & Grill, 1841 Abbott Road, for "nonpayment of taxes," according to a notice posted on the front entrance of the bar.

The bar is owned by dispatcher and former School Board member Kevin C. Rozwood, according to the State Liquor Authority and workers at a nearby business.

The bar owes more than $16,000 in sales and corporation taxes, according to Ed Walsh, a spokesman for the state tax department.

Rozwood, 40, resigned from the School Board last year after he was accused of posting anti-Arab, profanity-laced comments on his Facebook page. In March 2011, about 150 protesters -- most from the Muslim community -- rallied on the steps of Lackawanna City Hall calling for Rozwood's resignation as a city police dispatcher.

The protesters, who said they struggled for acceptance as Arabs in the Lackawanna community, said the incident was only the latest trouble the Muslim community had with the school district.

At the time, Rozwood, a former School Board president, acknowledged he had online conversations that he believed had been private, but he "categorically and vehemently" denied harboring any ethnic, religious or racial prejudice toward Muslims or anyone of Arab descent.

Rozwood, of Sandra Drive, did not respond to messages left Thursday at his police office or with an attorney.

Along with Daniel Rozwood, he has held a liquor license for the bar since 1998, and the license has had three disciplinary actions taken against it, State Liquor Authority spokesman Michael R. Smith said.

Kevin Rozwood was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for a 2009 gambling violation, according to authority records. The bar also had two minor charges against it, records show.

Neighbors and workers at surrounding businesses said the bar drew a steady business after dark. They reported no prior problems at the two-story establishment.

"They usually got a big crowd here at night Thursday, Friday and Saturday," said Rob Barker, who lives nearby. "For a bar on Abbott, I think it does good."

Barker was surprised to hear about the unpaid tax charges. He said workers at the bar recently installed a new sign on the exterior, built a new wooden fence near the bar's back patio and cleaned up garbage bags around the property.

Inside the bar, neon lights strung on top of the bar were lit hours after the raid.

The bar's contents are also considered state property, a state notice read.

email: cspecht@buffnews.com