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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mr. Lewis updates us on that Pacha Drama

He Says:

The good news came via BlackBerry from Eddie Dean in Ibiza. Pacha won its hard-fought battle against the NYPD, who seemingly would stop at nothing to close the club down. I had sat in the back of the courthouse and listened to arguments from both sides, and although I was extremely biased towards the defendant, I tried to be objective. But I couldn't find a case in the government's case. It all seemed to get down to the concept that although Pacha was taking extraordinary measures to prevent drug sales on its premises, the sales continued. The police case seemed to be that the continuing operation of the mega-club was a drain on the department's resources. These resources would be better spent patrolling the nearby hood. All doughnut jokes aside, the argument didn't seem to impress Judge Joan Madden, who threw it out. I read the verdict, and indeed there are stipulations that make this less than a 100% victory for New York's last real mega-club; but for today, it's a reason to be cheerful.

Monitoring, continued searches, and security cameras are required, and this seems to be a reasonable course of action. I have obtained the verdict and offer it you here. Oh, and Eddie says the good folks over at Pacha Ibiza read this column, so here’s a shout-out to them. Pachas thrive in 25 or 26 cities around the world. It’s nice that Judge Madden says we can keep ours. Although Ibiza may be an extreme case, a great many places in this world embrace nightlife as an integral part of their fabric and tourist culture. Overseas house-heads coming to New York this summer have had virtually no outlet since Cielo was shuttered till September. Lets hope the police will play fair. They have in the past had their undercovers call drug dealers to make buys in clubs, then busted the club for allowing sales. That’s un-American and unfair. They have allowed known dealers to operate in clubs to “prove” that they could deal without getting caught, putting patrons at risk. That is unbelievably dangerous. What if someone had died from these drugs?

The police have been accused by many of punishing Pacha for hosting the after-party for the Puerto Rican Day parade; this annual party follows a city-sponsored celebration, yet an incident three blocks from the club brings the wrath of the police, who say that party should not have been booked. This, many say, is racism—and I agree. Judge Madden seems to have discounted the police theories of what is happening up on West 46th Street, an area devoid currently of neighbors but not developers’ ambitions. By the time the celebration for this court victory subsides, the weekend will be upon us, and invariably the police harassment of a lawful, tax-paying business will continue.

Read it HERE

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