Sunny Spa in Warren to appeal suspension

WARREN – An attorney for Sunny Spa plans to appeal a city health board suspension that was ratified Monday.

If unsuccessful in the appeal before a panel including Mayor Doug Franklin and others, attorney Harry DePietro still can appeal the 90-day suspension before a common pleas court judge.

DePietro and attorneys for the city said after a status conference Tuesday with Judge Andrew Logan that the judge issued no temporary restraining order, but he granted DePietro time to file an administrative appeal with the court if he is unable to convince the panel that Sunny Spa was improperly given the 90-day suspension last month. He must formally file his appeal with the city within 10 days.

The spa at 443 E. Market St. remains closed because it has no licensed massage technician and in fact has had no license since an inspection March 21 when deputy health commissioner Robert Pinti entered the business and found a customer naked in a shower.

The 90-day suspension took effect beginning April 1. Pinti said the appeal before the mayor’s committee should take place within the next two weeks.

DePietro claims the raid on the spa lacked probable cause; the city argues the spa was simply inspected and not raided.

DePietro, who represents owner-operator Unsuk Cho, also argues that a naked customer didn’t prove prostitution was taking place.

According to the city’s complaint, employee Min Hoppy, dressed in a bathing suit, was in the shower area with a naked customer.

”In the massage parlor regulations, it notes no genitalia should be exposed during a massage. Taking a shower is not during a massage,” DePietro said.

If he can’t convince the mayor and the independent panel during that appeal process, DePietro has a hearing date on his amended complaint and an administrative appeal before Logan at 10 a.m. May 9.