Councilman withdrawals proposal to strip Licensing Board of pay - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Councilman withdrawals proposal to strip Licensing Board of pay

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By: Alexandra Cowley

Members of the Providence Board of Licenses will keep their salaries after all. At one point, a red hot city councilor demanded that they lose their pay because they didn't shut down a sketchy strip club, but now he's had a change of heart after board members challenged him.

Councilman Seth Yurdin has made it known he doesn't agree with the board of licenses decision to suspend, rather than revoke, the license of Cheaters strip club.

Councilman Yurdin said, "it was the board that found that there was prostitution taking place there, it was the board that found that there was a 14-year-old that was hired there, so when those facts are sitting before the board, one would expect that they would revoke the license and that's what makes sense, and they didn't do that."

So Councilman Yurdin wrote up an ordinance that would strip the licensing board members of their pay. The proposal ignited fury at Thursdays board of licenses meeting.

Chairman Andrew Annaldo said, "I want to note this is not about the compensation, this is about the process, this is about coercion, this is about somebody saying that if you don't do what I say, I'm going to punish you in a punitive nature."

Chairman Annaldo said Councilman Yurdin would be breaking the law by threatening to take away pay because of a decision he didn't like.

Annaldo wanted the AG to investigate, but that won't be necessary, because Thursday night, Councilman Yurdin decided to table the proposal indefinitely. Saying he didn't want there to be any question that the board was being coerced.

"I think that the calculus is always to try and make sure were doing things in the best interest of the city, and we brought a lot of attention to the issue, a lot of attention to the board and the decision and I think that's the important thing," said Yurdin.

The licensing board says it decided to suspend rather than revoke the license of Cheaters Strip Club because the underage girl gave a fake ID, and was hired under the belief she was of age.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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