By Seth Hettena Associated Press Writer
Published: Sep 2, 2003
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A strip-club manager admitted taking part in a scheme to buy influence from three San Diego city councilmen in an effort to repeal a city ordinance prohibiting nude dancers from touching patrons.
John D'Intino, the 56-year-old manager of Cheetahs, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.
D'Intino admitted in court that he conspired with his boss, club owner Michael Galardi, and others to funnel campaign contributions to councilmen Ralph Inzunza, Charles Lewis and Michael Zucchet to repeal the city's "no-touch" law.
He said that the city's "no-touch" law was hurting business at Cheetahs. A proposal to have the City Council reconsider the law never made it onto the agenda of a council committee.
Galardi and the three councilmen have pleaded innocent.
"Mr. D'Intino has accepted responsibility for his own wrongdoing and is looking forward to moving on with his life," his attorney, Geoffrey Morrison, said outside court.
D'Intino, the first of the group to reach a plea deal, agreed to be held without bond pending sentencing.
In court, D'Intino said he directed his employees to write checks to various City Council candidates and then reimbursed them to disguise the source of the money.
D'Intino also dropped off thousands of dollars in contributions at a Zucchet fund-raiser.
As part of a separate indictment, D'Intino also pleaded guilty to weapons charges.