Fresno County Sportsmen's Club troubles escalate

Fresno police officers and security guards were called in and forced everyone out of the Fresno County Sportsmen?s Club.
March 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A power struggle is now underway at a well-known Fresno club. Officers were called to Northeast Fresno on Thursday after tensions escalate between prominent members of the Fresno County Sportsmen's Club.

Fresno police officers and security guards were called in and forced everyone out of the Fresno County Sportsmen's Club.

For nearly a century members have come to this scenic spot to enjoy the quiet on the San Joaquin River. But on Thursday they showed up to find commotion and try and figure out exactly who runs the long time private club.

Douglas Bowman has been the president of the club for nearly four years. He says he's still the real president but he's being undercut by Steve Starcher who wants to take power. "It's a hostile takeover. It's all illegal. There is nothing legal about it," said Bowman.

Earlier this week, during an off-site election Steve Starcher told us he was actually chosen as the club's new leader. He believes a majority of members wanted a change and that's why they voted him in. "We are the legal representatives of the Fresno County Sportsmen's Club," said Starcher.

Bowman and Starcher accuse each other of being frauds who are abusing club funds. "He wants to be president for his own benefit. He wants to own this club so he can have a personal business out of it," said Bowman about Starcher. "I didn't start the fight but obviously I am not a quitter."

"It's shameful, very, very, shameful. He was confrontational with me and the membership. He was confrontational with the police and he was very, very vulgar. Unbecoming of any leader of any organization," said Starcher about Bowman.

Each man claims they have the law on their side. Until the figure it out, members worry the club's image will suffer.

Both sides have hired attorney and plan to file court papers soon laying claim to the club.


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