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Nassau won't renew contract with Butch Yamali company

Concessionaire Butch Yamali's Dover Gourment Corp. owes Nassau

Concessionaire Butch Yamali's Dover Gourment Corp. owes Nassau Community College $213,926 with "invoices outstanding since January of 2018," Nassau County Attorney Jared Kasschau said in a letter. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Nassau County officials have decided not to renew a contract with concessionaire Dover Gourmet Corp. after disclosures that the company owes Nassau Community College more than $213,000 for vending machines on the Garden City campus.

Freeport-based Dover had not paid the college for 14 months as of February 2019, and was removed, Dean of Students Charmian Smith said in an email. Dover was to furnish vending machines with beverages and snacks under a contract with the college, but stopped paying the agreed annual fee, Smith said.

On Wednesday, Nassau County Attorney Jared Kasschau said in a letter to Dover chief executive Butch Yamali and his attorney Daniel Deegan that the company owed the college $213,926 with "invoices outstanding since January of 2018." Kasschau continued, "Dover has not responded to NCC's many requests for payment prior to the expiration of the agreement."

In another letter dated Wednesday, Kasschau told Dover that Nassau will not exercise its option to extend the term of the agreement for concessions and vending machines at county properties. The current contract expires Dec. 31, 2019, Kasschau said.

Christine Geed, a Nassau County spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Dover is no longer in "good standing" as a county vendor because it was not meeting the terms of its contract with the college. “Nassau County has learned of outstanding vending machine fees owed to Nassau Community College by Dover in the amount of $213,925.92. With outstanding audit issues with the [Nassau County] Comptroller and now their failure to remit to the college, we cannot consider Dover to be a vendor in good standing. As it is a part of Nassau County, the County Attorney’s office will be representing NCC in this legal action.”

Todd Shapiro, a spokesman for the Dover Group, said in a statement the company “would not be in business for nearly four decades without offering excellent quality services, fulfilling all contractual obligations, and satisfying outstanding bills. The claims made against The Dover Group are erroneous and misleading. Dover has served the students, faculty, and staff of Nassau Community College with pride and integrity, and when the facts are presented, it will be proven that the accusations are not true. The Dover Group maintains that these accusations are purely politically motivated."

Shapiro said Dover “has an agreement for a contract extension for services with Nassau County, and is disappointed that after decades of cooperation with Republican and Democratic administrations, Nassau is doing a complete ‘180.’ Dover will be pursuing all legal avenues to ensure the County honors the terms which were previously agreed upon.”

Geed said Dover owes the county approximately $44,000 in payments and $295,000 for capital improvements, "which have yet to be made" under its concession agreement.

In April, Dover Gourmet Corp. left as operator of the coffee and gift shop at Nassau University Medical Center after hospital officials said the company had not paid fees to operate the facility since February 2015 and owed about $400,000. Yamali has disputed the claim and said hospital officials hurt his business by not fixing the kitchen's exhaust system after it broke.

In July, Hempstead Town said Dover had not paid rent for nearly a year at the town's Malibu Beach Park, and owed $531,400.

Yamali said Hempstead owes him more than $2 million for capital improvements he made to the park.

Also in July, Dover Hospitality Services, a related business, was ordered to pay Suffolk County Community College $290,347 for not turning over commissions to operate cafeterias and vending machines.

Smith said the college's new vending machine provider is Canteen, which has a one-year, $100,000-per-year contract that can be extended.

Nassau County is responsible for approving the college's annual budget and contributes about 25 percent of college revenue.

With Celeste Hadrick

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