On Sunday I posted an advisory indicating that residents were not donating enough toys to Toys for Tots charity bin. Sad, because many needy children really love the gifts that are donated. A big thank you. I took the attached photo of the bin at the lobby of Town Hall this morning. Great response. More toys donated in the afternoon! I love Greenburgh because so many of our residents are caring and nice. Thanks so much. And, keep on giving to the less fortunate.
The Town Board, working with the Greenburgh Police and community, are trying to put an end to inappropriate conduct at massage establishments. We rendered the following opinion at the special Town Board meeting this morning.
DECISION OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF GREENBURGH IN THE
MATTER OF AN APPEAL BY FOREST YIN SPA REGARDING THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE TOWN’S POLICE CHIEF TO REVOKE THE MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT LICENSE OF FOREST YIN SPA, PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 375-8 OF THE TOWN CODE, ON THE GROUND THAT OBSCENE AND IMMORAL CONDUCT WAS PERMITTED AT THE LICENSED MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT PREMISES.
HEARING DATE: December 13, 2017
MEMBERS PRESENT: Paul J. Feiner, Supervisor
FOR DECISION Diana Juettner, Councilwoman
Francis Sheehan, Councilman
Kevin Morgan, Councilman
NATURE OF THE APPEAL
Junghee Choi and Forest Yin Spa appeal to the Town Board to reject the recommendation of the Town’s Police Chief to revoke the license and special permit of Forest Yin Spa to operate a massage establishment at 100 North Central Avenue on the ground that the evidence submitted by the Police Chief was insufficient to establish that Forest Yin Spa operated in an obscene and immoral manner.
On December 28, 2016, Appellant, Junghee Choi filed an application on behalf of Forest Yin Spa for a license to operate a massage establishment at 100 North Central Avenue. The license application was approved by the Town’s Police Chief on January 5, 2017. On February 8, 2017, the Town Board conducted a public hearing on Forest Yin Spa’s request for a special permit to operate the establishment and on February 28, 2017, the Town Board granted Forest Yin’s application for a special permit. On July 19, 2017, Town undercover police officers visited 100 North Central Avenue and observed an employee of Forest Yin Spa, Hai Lan Cui, perform a massage on an undercover police officer without a requisite New York State massage therapist license in violation of NYS Education Law §6512(1). Ms. Cui subsequently agreed to perform a sex act with the same undercover police officer in exchange for money. Four employees of Forest Yin Spa were observed at the premises and a handwritten ledger was recovered indicating that all four had performed massages on July 19th, although only two of the four had NYS massage licenses. A further investigation revealed that Forest Yin Spa had advertised massage services on a webpage known as “Backpage .com” in a sexually oriented manner in violation of §375-13(E) of the Greenburgh Town Code and had not provided the Town Clerk with the names of employees providing massage services pursuant to §375-13 (L) of the Town Code.
Employee Hai Lan Cui was subsequently arrested by Town police for the crime of prostitution and Junghee Choi and Forest Yin Spa were issued summonses by the Town Building Inspector for violating §375-13(O) of the Town Code which prohibits operating a massage establishment in a manner which constitutes a public nuisance. On July 25, 2017, the Police Chief issued a letter recommending the revocation of Forest Yin Spa’s Massage Establishment License based upon the conduct of Hai Lan Cui. On August 25, 2017, Junghee Choi and Forest Yin Spa filed the instant appeal. The appeal before the Town Board was adjourned on several occasions until November 20, 2017 at the request of Forest Yin Spa due to scheduling conflicts with Forest Yin Spa’s attorneys. A second appeal before the Town Board was conducted on December 13, 2017 to provide a Korean interpreter for Junghee Choi and to incorporate comments from the public into the appellate record. Junghee Choi subsequently agreed to accept a disorderly conduct violation in Town Justice Court on behalf of herself and Forest Yin Spa in satisfaction of all of the criminal charges.
Based upon the credible and uncontradicted evidence presented by the Town Police Chief, the Town Board finds that the record overwhelmingly establishes that Forest Yin Spa operated a massage establishment in an obscene and immoral manner on July 19, 2017, which supports the Police Chief’s recommendation to revoke Forest Yin Spa’s license and special permit. The evidence established that (1) Forest Yin Spa permitted Hai Lan Cui to perform a massage without the required New York State license in violation of NYS Education Law §6512(1)(Unauthorized Practice of a Profession) and §375-13(J) of the Town Code; (2) ) Forest Yin Spa permitted Ms. Cui to agree to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee in violation of NYS Penal Law §230 (Prostitution) and §375-13(D) of the Town Code; (3) Forest Yin Spa permitted advertising on the internet (Backpage.com) in a manner that was sexually oriented in violation of §375-13(E) of the Town Code; (4) Forest Yin Spa failed to provide the Town Clerk with the names of employees providing massage services in violation of §375-13 (L) of the Town Code and (5) Forest Yin Spa conducted business in a manner which constituted a public nuisance in violation of §375-13(O) of the Town Code.
Consequently, the Town Board hereby finds that the evidence in the record supports the Police Chief’s recommendation to revoke the license and special permit of Forest Yin Spa and the instant appeal is dismissed. Significantly, by its finding, the Town Board is not regulating the licensing of massage therapists, which licensing clearly falls within the province of the NYS Department of Education, but is regulating massage establishments to protect the public from establishments such as Forest Yin Spa that (i) purport to perform legal massages on unsuspecting persons, (ii) operate under the guise of being a massage establishment when actually engaging in illegal activities and (iii) engage in sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. The aforementioned illegal activities have a deleterious effect on the public health, safety and welfare of the Town, its residents and the public at large. It is therefore the intent of the Town Board regulate establishments that perform massages and to eliminate those establishments that jeopardize public health, safety and welfare by allowing employees who are not licensed massage therapists to perform massages and engage in illegal activity.
Dated: December 19, 2017
By Order of the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh