While O'Neil said Monday that he has turned his life around and that Dee Dee's dance bar is an honest business, city officials hope a proposed new city law will let them use O'Neil's criminal past against him and close Dee Dee's down.
The proposed law, on tap for the Sept. Dee Dee's is New Britain's third strip club, but the first to take advantage of a loophole in state law that puts juice bars beyond the reach of state control.
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At many of these juice bars, customers can bring in booze, and the dancers can shun the pasties and G-strings that are required under state liquor laws. Ironically, O'Neill would not be eligible to hold a Local strip bars connecticut liquor license because of his felony conviction and sentence of five years' probation, the state's top-ranking liquor agent said Monday.
O'Neil, 36, of Feeding Hills, Mass. In addition to the probation, he has a suspended, five-year prison term hanging over his head.
Assistant State's Attorney Lou Luba, who handled O'Neil's sentencing hearing in Maysaid O'Neil was caught with a high- quality color photocopier that was used in the counterfeiting scam. O'Neil said, "I made some mistakes in the past and I'm working very hard to turn my life around.
He does not believe a new city ordinance relating to adult entertainment will apply to him, or to any other established adult business.
I've broken no laws, and the fire marshal, the building inspector and the health inspector have all been in here and found only minor violations, which I'm correcting. City officials were spitting mad when O'Neil opened his club Aug. At the time, officials knew next to nothing about him.
But despite revelations about O'Neil's background, city leaders couldn't be certain Monday if the proposed new ordinance would erase Dee Dee's from downtown. O'Neil's criminal past "will be information that the chief of police will take under serious consideration at the time that a license is requested," said Susan MacMullen, top aide to Mayor Lucian Pawlak. These requirements would be part of that reasonable regulation," McMullen said.