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Buffalo Strip clubs forced to await rulings on suspended liquor licenses

Buffalo- from – One judge today promised a swift ruling on a local strip club’s bid to overturn the state’s suspension of its liquor license, while another judge set no timetable on the same request from a second club.

State Supreme Court Justice Frederick J. Marshall vowed to rule “within the next day or two” on Rick Snowden’s bid to again sell alcohol in his Rick’s Tally-Ho in Cheektowaga.

State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita Jr. did not set a timetable for his ruling on behalf of the 24KT Gold club in Hamburg, and he denied that club’s bid for a temporary restraining order allowing it to immediately resume liquor sales.

Both clubs had their liquor licenses suspended by the State Liquor Authority following FBI raids last month and accusations of prostitution and drug dealing in the clubs.

Sedita agreed with the contention of Michael A. Siragusa, the assistant state attorney general representing the SLA in both cases, that there is no evidence that the temporary order barring liquor sales has created “irreparable harm” to 24KT Gold’s future revenue.

During court proceedings this morning, Ralph C. Lorigo, the Tally-Ho’s attorney, stressed to Marshall that Snowden, in a sworn affidavit, has “categorically denied” claims of former workers that he knew of or permitted drug sales and illegal sex at his club. He added that the 184-page federal indictment of 27 individuals for the alleged illegal activity at the two clubs makes no accusations against the club owners.

Mark E. Guglielmi, attorney for Christine Whipple, who holds the liquor license and operates 24KT Gold with her husband, stressed the same points to Sedita.

Both attorneys argued that the SLA’s March 25 suspension orders were based on undocumented claims from former employees who are currently under indictment and trying to make deals with federal prosecutors.


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