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County Council adopts stricter strip club regulations

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on Dec. 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm with 3 Comments »
December 11, 2012 7:00 pm

Despite the threat of a lawsuit, the Pierce County Council unanimously approved tougher regulations today making strip club managers criminally responsible if dancers break rules by performing lap dances, handling tips or soliciting prostitution.

Managers will be subject to both criminal and civil penalties whether or not they knew dancers were violating the rules. The changes, which will take effect Feb. 1, also require a strip club’s interior to be clearly lighted.

The council beefed up the regulations despite objections from the spokesman for the one club they affect. The only strip club in unincorporated Pierce County is DreamGirls at Fox’s in Parkland.

An undercover investigation in September found that dancers at Fox’s committed several violations including taking tips, performing lap dances, touching customers and in one instance soliciting prostitution, according to Sheriff’s Department reports.

Tim Killian, spokesman for Deja Vu, which owns DreamGirls, said similar provisions have been found unconstitutional in two Puget Sound-area cities, including Lakewood in 1999, by three courts. Those measures held managers, who are club employees, responsible for the actions of dancers, who are independent contractors, Killian said.

“Enacting this ordinance will simply cause the county to spend more money and resources litigating laws that have already lost three times,” Killian told the council.

Council member Roger Bush, R-Frederickson, said there shouldn’t be any need for legal action if a business is being run properly.

Before the meeting, Council Chairwoman Joyce McDonald, R-Puyallup, said she was not concerned “at this time” about potential litigation on the regulations. She said deputy prosecutor Cort O’Connor felt confident legally in submitting the stricter standards for the council’s approval.

O’Connor has said it’s been too easy for managers to turn a blind eye to dancers breaking the law.

After the 7-0 vote, Killian said Deja Vu will evaluate it options, including suing the county.

“It’s a reckless act on their part,” Killian said.

Auditor Julie Anderson has called the new standards that she put forth in September the strictest in the state.

Last month, Anderson’s office recommended loosening its original proposal by holding club managers criminally responsible for dancers behavior only if managers “knowingly permit” a violation. Anderson acknowledged then that the original proposal could be challenged – perhaps successfully – in court.

But Anderson said Thursday that she only sought to give the council other options with her second, less stringent proposal. She said she’s comfortable with the original changes, including the tougher liability standard for managers.

Fox’s reopened in March after it was closed for illegal activity under previous ownership in 2010.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. This is what are administrators do with there time ? We got budget issues up the cuzoo and their out there hasseling victimless people trying to make a living.

  2. FormerFalcon says:

    “”Before the meeting, Council Chairwoman Joyce McDonald, R-Puyallup, said she was was not concerned “at this time” about potential litigation on the regulations. She said deputy prosecutor Cort O’Connor felt confident legally in submitting the stricter standards for the council’s approval.””
    I love it when I read statements like these made by these people who we elected and the lawyers they hired and pay with our tax payer money. This (These) lawyer(s) who make statements like this in guise of legal counsel knowing that if they are wrong it wont matter and in fact they will be the ones fighting the court case and WILL make even more $$$$ from the tax payer!!! Even if the county hires another lawyer or law firm to represent them WHEN they get sued this Cort O’Connor will receive some type of kick back sometime down the road from the hired lawyer or law firm, heck maybe even a new job for Cort of a family member/friend! The tax payer taking it shorts again because of BAD LEGAL ADVICE and TOTAL BLIND IGNORANCE of elected officials who want to push their agenda no matter what! As the article stated laws like this have RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL TWO TIMES in the recent past in the same court system that the case will end up in front of, Holy Cow!!!

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/street/2012/12/11/county-council-adopts-stricter-strip-club-regulations/#storylink=cpy

  3. dontbesilly says:

    All those girls wanna do is make money, and I’m hiring darn it!!

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