City Nickels Will Not Retract Unfounded Allegations
Last month, Mayor Greg Nickels made a splash in the press with apparently unfounded allegations linking Rick’s strip club to organized crime. The allegations came as Nickels was pushing for his proposal to create a strip-club zone south of downtown on a local cable call-in show. Nickels said he believed Rick’s, which was implicated in the “Strippergate” campaign-contribution scandal, was engaged in “an organized attempt to buy influence on the council.” Some people would call that “lobbying”, but Nickels said it’s how he “defines organized crime.”
Two weeks ago, Rick’s attorney Gil Levy struck back, urging Nickels to “reconsider and retract your recent public statements in which you claim that ‘organized crime’ is involved in my client’s business.”
Given the scope of the [Strippergate] investigation, and given the diligence of the Deputy Prosecutors who conducted the investigatoin, one can reasonably assume that any and all criminal conduct in which my client and its principals might have been engaged would have been discovered and appropriate charges filed. …
You claim that my client is linked to organized crime because of amounts spent on the [lap-dance ban repeal] referendum campaign, (approximately $500,000 including amounts contributed by others). The reason that you and the public are aware of this amount is because the Campaign organization has scrupulously complied with campaign finance disclosure laws. More importantly, according t public records you spent over a million dollars in the 2005 election when you did not face a serious challenger. No one would have the temerity to suggest you are associated with organized crime based upon the amount you spent on your reelection campaign. For the same reason there is no basis for you to make a similar charge against my client.
Levy went on to offer Nickels “a complete and thorough inspection of my financial records by any independent auditing agency that you suggest, and will pay for the cost of the audit.” I have a call in to Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis to find out why the mayor didn’t respond to Levy’s offer.
Read the whole letter here.