By Matt Gryta
News Staff Reporter
April 07, 2010, 11:00 am
Two judges today rejected bids by the owners of the Rick's Tally-Ho and 24KT Gold strip clubs to have their state liquor licenses immediately restored amid continuing criminal and State Liquor Authority probes involving alleged illegal drug and sex trafficking.
State Supreme Court Justice Frederick J. Marshall and State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita Jr. both ruled that arguments by attorneys for the clubs about alleged due process and procedural violations by the SLA are unpersuasive.
The judges conducted back-to-back hearings Monday on efforts by Rick Snowden, the owner of the Tally-Ho, and Christine Whipple, who holds the liquor license on the 24KT Gold club, to get their licenses immediately restored pending further SLA administrative hearings.
Based on a recent federal indictment of 27 individuals for alleged recurring drug sales and prostitution activity at both clubs, the SLA suspended their liquor licenses March 25.
Marshall and Sedita both ruled they are "in accord" with the contentions of assistant State Attorney General Michael A. Sirgusa that the SLA's prompt actions linked to public health and safety concerns were legally justified under state law.
The SLA already had an April 20 hearing scheduled to deal with the possible revocation of 24KT Gold's liquor license, and Marshall ordered the SLA to schedule a "prompt hearing" for Snowden's Tally-Ho Entertainment LLC, which has operated his club at 5111 Genesee St. in Cheektowaga since November 2001.
Marshall also noted that Snowden only this week filed a not-guilty notice with the SLA on the improper activity allegations linked to his club.
Neither Ralph C. Lorigo, Snowden's attorney, nor Mark E. Guglielmi, attorney for Christine Whipple, nor the club owners could be reached to comment.
Respectfully submitted from: http://www.buffalonews.com/2010/04/07/1011658/judges-uphold-strip-clubs-liquor.html