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Suburban Nuns Oppose Plan To Build Strip Club Next Door (VIDEO)

Stone Park Strip Club Nuns

First Posted: 02/ 8/2012 3:32 pm Updated: 02/ 8/2012 3:32 pm

A group of nuns in Chicago's west suburban "sin city" have stepped up their opposition to a "gentlemen's cabaret" -- or strip club -- slated to be opened next door to their convent.

As the Better Government Association and Fox Chicago report, a showdown between the Missionary Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo (Scalabrinians) and the developers behind Get It, a strip club that will feature partially nude performers and serve alcohol, is underway in Stone Park, Ill -- a village with a festering shady reputation.

(Scroll down to watch a report on the controversially located strip club.

Sister Marissonia Daltoe of the convent told CBS Chicago that she is concerned with how the new strip club, already approved by the village board and under construction in the 3800 block of West Lake Street, will impact neighborhood youth. And she argues that her convent never had the proper opportunity to speak out against the club before it was approved by the village.

"There are plenty of problems in the area, and we don't want to have another one," Daltoe explained to CBS.

According to the BGA, the strip club is being built within two feet of the nuns' fence line. The nuns' property extends across both Stone Park and the more conservative Melrose Park, whose mayor Ronald Serpico has entered the battle as an ally to the convent. Stone Park Mayor Beniamino Mazzulla, also, isn't fond of the strip club coming to his village, but feels his hands are tied on the matter legally.

As "a very devout Roman Catholic," Servico is, according to his spokesman Gary Mack, "look[ing] into this to see if there's anything we can do to block this thing."

While the strip club's owner Bob Itzkow said he does not necessarily welcome a lawsuit, he realizes that should it occur, his club would probably benefit from the extra publicity a suit would provide.

Another strip club -- called Scores -- is reportedly located just down the street from the site where Get It is currently being erected.

The tiny suburban village has a shady reputation, dating back decades, of being heavily mob-influenced. According to the Chicago Tribune, the village's former police chief, Harry Testa, reportedly shared in monthly payoffs from bars with then-police lieutenant Seymour Sapoznik in exchange for looking the other way when it came to illegal gambling.

The village's mob boss, Rocco Pranno, also reportedly pressured the village's businesses to contract with certain vending machine companies in the 1960s, according to the Tribune, and the town also formerly played host to a Capone-owned brewery during the Prohibition era.

WATCH Fox Chicago's report on the controversy in Stone Park:

Strip Club Allowed to Open Next to St. Charles Borromeo Convent: MyFoxCHICAGO.com

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Filed by Joseph Erbentraut  |