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Town of Hempstead, businessman Butch Yamali reach deal on back rent

In the summer of 2019, Malibu Beach operator Butch Yamali came under fire after then-Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said town records showed Yamali owed the town more than $500,000 in back rent.

News 12 Staff

Dec 9, 2020, 10:28 PM

Updated 1,288 days ago

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Town of Hempstead, businessman Butch Yamali reach deal on back rent
It was once labeled a secret backroom deal, and even sparked a federal investigation, but the Town of Hempstead has reached a settlement with businessman Butch Yamali.
In the summer of 2019, Malibu Beach Camp operator Butch Yamali came under fire after then-Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said town records showed Yamali owed the town more than $500,000 in back rent.
Gillen, the first Democratic Hempstead town supervisor in decades, said it happened after Yamali signed a five-year contract extension with Hempstead's comptroller and parks commissioner without town board approval.
The matter caught the attention of the U.S. Attorney's Office, sparking a federal investigation in August 2019.
On Monday, the town board reached a settlement. Under the agreement, Yamali's company, Dover Gourmet, will pay past due payments in full from 2018 and 2019. In turn, the deal gives Yamali a concession agreement at Malibu through 2036.
Clavin declined News 12's request for an interview. He abstained from the vote.
The town counsel issued statement which reads in part, "The settlement of this litigation is in the best interests of the town residents and provides predictability as to the outcome of all outstanding claims by both sides without further litigation costs and expenses."
But Gillen says Yamali's support of the town's GOP power players, as seen in a video of Clavin's victory on election night in 2019, helped bring about a settlement that's not in the best interest of taxpayers.
"The fact is this is a vendor with ties connected to high-ranking members of the party and who claimed that he was responsible for getting the new supervisor elected, standing on stage with the members of the town board and the new supervisor getting a 15-year no-bid contract," says Gillen.


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