Rhonda Cook, Staff December 19, 2000, Tuesday, Home Edition Copyright 2000 The Atlanta Constitution The Atlanta Journal and Constitution December 19, 2000, Tuesday, Home Edition
(ATLANTA, Ga. ) -- An attorney for an Atlanta strip club owner asked a federal judge Monday to find the New York City Police Department in contempt of court for failing to turn over documents about a mob-related killing. During a hearing on the status of motions and pretrial work in the massive Gold Club racketeering case, attorney Steve Sadow complained that the New York Police Department had ignored a subpoena issued in mid-September. He said the agency gave him the runaround as he tried to get records that, most of the time, are considered public documents.
U.S. Magistrate Christopher Hagy was perplexed by the request to hold the entire department in contempt. "How am I going to do that?" he asked.
But Sadow said the aim of a contempt citation would simply be to get the Police Department's attorneys involved.
New York police officials did not return a reporter's telephone calls Monday. Hagy made no decision on the motion. Sadow's client, Gold Club owner Steve Kaplan, along with an alleged captain of the Gambino organized crime family and more than a dozen other people are charged in a sweeping racketeering case that alleges illegal ties to organized crime, money laundering, prostitution, loan-sharking, credit card fraud and police corruption. Federal prosecutors also say Kaplan paid dancers at his Buckhead club to perform sexual favors for professional athletes to heighten the club's profile.
Sadow said he has been trying since Sept. 18 to get documents relating to the June 17, 1988, shooting death of Anthony Mascuzzio, a soldier in the Gambino crime family. The killing occurred in New York but is expected to be cited in the government's case when it goes to trial in Atlanta in February.
According to the federal indictment and New York police accounts, Kaplan took a witness to meet with Gambino bosses after New York nightclub owner David Fisher, tired of paying off the Gambinos, shot Mascuzzio.
According to the charges, the crime bosses told Kaplan to hide the witness. Kaplan then took the witness to Florida and persuaded the Gambinos not to kill Fisher inside the nightclub, charges say.
Fisher later committed suicide and Kaplan took control of the New York club.
The subpoena, seeking numerous documents about the shooting and Fisher's arrest, had an Oct. 31 deadline.