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Billy Dean goes to highest court to appeal club ruling

Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe in North Bellmore on

Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe in North Bellmore on May 23, 2012. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

Strip club owner Billy Dean will go to the highest court in the state to appeal a court ruling that prevented him opening a new club in Wantagh.

A New York State Appellate Division justice panel on Feb. 13 affirmed Hempstead Town's denial of a cabaret permit to Dean, who sought to open a "Las Vegas Style" club on Sunrise Highway.

Dean's attorney, William Cohn of Uniondale, said Friday that he will appeal the decision to the New York Court of Appeals. Cohn said he will file a request for permission to appeal with the court in the next few weeks.

Cohn declined to discuss the specifics of the case beyond saying he and his client "believe there were errors in the judgment, and the court will look favorably upon this motion."

Dean and partner Rori Gordon in October 2011 unsuccessfully sued the town appeals board and its seven members in State Supreme Court for denying the cabaret license for the Wantagh property. The denial reversed the board's approval of Dean's application more than a year earlier.

A State Supreme Court justice upheld the appeals board decision in May 2012. Dean then appealed to the appellate division.

Dean owns Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe in North Bellmore, which he bills as "Long Island's Number 1 Strip Club." The license for the Wantagh venue would have prohibited topless or nude entertainment.

Dean planned to provide live music, dancing and entertainment at the planned Mile High Club with a "Las Vegas Style" feel. Dozens of residents opposed the opening of the club because of its proximity to a residential neighborhood.

Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said she is confident the high court will uphold the town's decision.

"We will vigorously defend our position on the property," Murray said, adding that town officials are "confident we are right on the law."

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