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State stops liquor flow at Austintown’s Go Go



Published: Tue, December 6, 2011 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

Austintown

The Go Go Girls Cabaret is closed — for now.

The club was shut down Friday by the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Investigative Unit, assisted by Austintown police.

Julie Hinds, public information officer for the unit, said a search warrant was issued, and a team went in to shut down sales of alcohol.

“We received notice on Nov. 28 from the Division of Liquor Control that the liquor permit was defunct. ... They were not the holder of a valid liquor permit,” she said. “The investigative unit was told that the appeals process has been exhausted.”

Club owner Sebastian Rucci has been in and out of state and federal courts over the past three years appealing attempts to revoke the club’s permit.

Rucci was first granted an injunction against revocation in August 2009 by Judge Ann Aldrich of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, allowing the club to remain open.

On Nov. 15, Judge John R. Adams, who took over the case after Judge Aldrich died, rejected a motion filed by the The Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control, which had maintained the case was resolved in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, making Rucci’s appeal moot.

Judge Adams ruled that he lacked jurisdiction while the case was on appeal in Franklin County, and upheld the injunction, according to court records.

Rucci said it’s for that reason that he plans to file a motion to suppress and have the club reopened.

“We already have a federal injunction that stays” the Division of Liquor Control action, he said.

Rucci said for now the club is closed, but he expects to be operating again by Saturday.

“The unfortunate part is that it delays you, shuts you down, disrupts your business,” he said. “We’re closed down, but we have a band set up for Saturday. My goal is to get this done before then.”

Hinds said agents seized all alcohol found inside the club, including a keg, beer and various types of liquor.

She said agents also charged Rucci with three misdemeanors — illegal sale of beer, illegal sale of intoxicating liquor, and keeper of the place of business.

Agents also charged Tara Giancola, 24, of Masury with illegal sale of beer and illegal sale of intoxicating liquor.

They will appear at a later date for arraignment at Mahoning County Area Court in Austintown.

Matt Mullins, spokesman for the Division of Liquor Control, said despite Rucci’s comments, the club’s liquor permit is defunct.

Mullins said the Go Go can’t hold a liquor permit for one year.

“When there’s a revocation, it’s our administrative rule to prohibit issuing a permit to that holder for one year,” he said.

Mullins said after a year an application for a new permit can be submitted, though its approval is up to Division of Liquor Control’s discretion.

Rucci said he plans to continue his fight through the court system, regardless of what is thrown at him.

“I don’t just go away, so I will oppose this,” he said.

Rucci does, however, have plans to leave the Go Go business behind him.

He said he has a buyer interested in the club and is in the process of finalizing the sale.

“Me, myself, I’m trying to move on,” he said.


Comments

1author50(1121 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I sure think that our tax dollars and man/woman power frrom the county prosectors office, Austintown Courts, Sheriffs Department, Austintown Police Department and the Department of Public Safety could have been spent better than this circus that has been going on for 3 years.

Talk about friendly fascism!

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2lee(544 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

OH MY GOD he did not have a permit how dare he, lets hang him in the square.
author is right what a waste of money, but I don't think Mr. Rucci thinks fascism is so friendly

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Booze, sex and drugs . . .. This one stop shopping center has been a real convenience . . ..

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4db(280 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

Rucci will end up with a multi-million dollar settlement if this harassment continues. Our tax dollars can certainly be better spent than on this nonsense.

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5janpentz(32 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

I don't get it!! I live in Youngstown Ohio where, across the street from me, a "convenience" store has been selling booze for years with an expired corporate charter. Without a valid corporate charter the liquor license is invalid and no one seems to give a sh*t about it. Oh, ya....I forgot.....This is Austintown, not Youngstown. Seems like Mr. Rucci's biggest mistake is locating in the "..burbs". Come to Youngstown, Mr. Rucci, where vice is a growth industry!!!

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6commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 2 years, 9 months ago

A lot of wasted money. If Austintown has all of this money to fighjt ONE person don't they have money to run the township?
Mr. Rucci should sue Austintown for harassment, he's proven he's trying to do things right (court cases that he's won). If peolpe do not like his business they will no go there.

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