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'Rent-a-vet' keeps hot dog stand in place

NEW YORK, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A disabled veteran in New York say a hot dog vendor who lost his spot in front of a museum hired him as a way to keep his place under a 19th-century law.

The city revoked Pasang Sherpa's permission to sell hot dogs in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after he defaulted on a $642,000 city contract, but the vendor returned to the spot using an old law allowing disabled veterans to sell merchandise on the streets without a contract, a veteran told the New York Post.

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Leo Morris Jr., 62, a Vietnam veteran with shrapnel permanently embedded in his head, said Sherpa pays him $100 a day to "stand near the cart" while other employees take orders and prepare the food. He described himself as a "rent-a-vet" kept on hand to lend his disabled veteran status to the business.

"When Sherpa came here, the veterans were cutting into his profits," Morris said. "He didn't realize that he could have gotten the same service for less with the use of a veteran -- so he solicited my help."

However, Sherpa denied hiring veterans and said he is no longer in the hot dog business.

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"That is not true," he said of the allegations.

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