Stone Park officials accused of threatening nuns over strip club - FOX 32 News Chicago

Stone Park officials accused of threatening nuns over strip club: FOX Chicago-BGA Investigation

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EXCLUSIVE - People in west suburban Stone Park trying to stop a strip club from opening next to a convent says they're getting threats from the village.

"Get It" isn't quite open yet; the website for is up, complete with job postings for dancers, and crews are putting the finishing touches on the massive building that sits right next to the sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo convent.

But those nuns, along with hundreds of Stone Park and nearby residents are trying to stop the strip club from opening with petitions, a rally and legal action. And though village leaders say they don't want the club either, they're sure not acting that way.

"To be very clear and blunt about it, the whole thing stinks to high heaven," said Thomas Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, a Catholic legal group helping the nuns fight the club.

Brejcha said the nuns have been getting harassing phone calls from Stone Park Mayor Ben Mazzulla. They've now sent cease and desist letters to the Village of Stone Park and the club's owner. Lawsuits should be following any day.

Brejcha believes the club violates state law because it's too close to a place of worship and schools. And he believes Stone Park police are violating the rights of residents by following them as they carry petitions door to door. He said Mazzulla himself has been calling the nuns, trying to bully them into dropping their protest.

"The mayor's very angry," Brejcha said. "He said he would cooperate with us.  He's done everything but cooperate with us. He's hassled the nuns. He's made illegal threats. He's failing to abide by state law, and we think the case is very clear.

A robocall from village officials accused protesters of spreading "false and inaccurate information." The call was recorded in Spanish, since Stone Park is 80 percent Latino. The call also said "please don't let yourself be fooled by attacks from the media."

The village also sent out a letter in English blaming residents for not showing up to protest before the club was built.

"It seems almost like they're trying to wage a campaign against the sisters and their supporters who are trying to fight the strip club," said Bob Herguth of the Better Government Association.

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