EXCLUSIVE: Post commander talks amid rumors of financial mismanagement and sudden closure in Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. -- The sudden closure of a veterans organization in our area has left its members with many questions.

AMVETS Post 19 in Lancaster has been closed since the beginning of March, and members haven’t been told why.

Some members wonder if they'll get their membership fees back or if the post will ever reopen.

They've taken their complaints to the organization's Facebook page.

"They're blaming me, and that's fine," said David Ream, commander of Post 19. "It's tearing my heart out, but that's okay."

Phone calls to the post lead to a voicemail box that's full.

Its website reads the same as the sign posted at property off Fairview Avenue - closed.

"Our liquor license was not renewed," explained Ream. "We had owed back taxes, and that's the reason the post closed."

When Ream became commander, he says he inherited years worth of unchecked bills, including unpaid taxes going back to 2013.

"There's a lot of things that weren't paid, all kind of things, and I just did the best I could," he said. "I put a lot of my own money in there... you don't even want to know."

Now, he says he's dealing with the rumor mill.

"I went out of town last week, and I get a call, 'the charter was taken from the post'. The state didn't take it," he explained. "We're still in good standing."

The Pennsylvania Chapter of AMVETS is investigating the closure though and taking members' complaints.

According to a spokesman, members' biggest complaint is Post 19 officers aren't communicating with them.

"I'll just say that arrangements for what's needed are in the works," added Ream.

Ream says all back taxes will be paid and the organization will reopen, but he can't tell us when or how because of an alleged confidentiality agreement with someone willing to help the post.

There is a meeting for members of AMVETS Post 19 at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.

Ream says Post 19 members will get more answers then.

To see Post 19's website, click here. 

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