News: Club Madonna Strips Again

JIMMY MORALES RESCINDS HIS REVOCATION MADONNA’S BUSINESS LICENSE.

On Monday night, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales lifted his original order to revoke the business license of the city’s only strip club, provided that it followed some stipulations

For over two weeks Club Madonna remained closed because Morales determined the business presented an “immediate threat” to the public following the shocking allegations that a 13-year-old girl had performed in the establishment.

“To address these matters, Club Madonna has proffered to develop and institute a compliance program that will prevent the aforementioned threat to minors and their families,” said Morales in his order.

Chiefly the strip club will now have to hire a compliance officer whose main function would be to assure all regulations are being followed, as well as keeping track that each performer is diligently identified and work schedule tracked in a log. An affidavit that these logs are being kept are to be delivered weekly by 5 o’clock on Tuesdays.

In addition, the club must agree to in writing that they will turn away any performer who appears to be escorted into the premise. Dancers will also have to attest that they are not being intimidated into performing.

The 13-year-old girl in question told police that she was forced into prostitution, and when she refused, her alleged captors forced her into dancing at the club.

The new stipulations were reportedly negotiated between the city and the club.

“For 20 years, Club Madonna has been in business, right at this location, and something like that never did occur,” said Club attorney Daniel Aaronson in a press conference reported by WSVN.

Days after the original January 10th order, Club Madonna filed suit in federal court. They held that the city’s actions was a violation to their 1st amendment , and represented a prior restraint, or censorship.

The city scoffed at their claims in court documents.

On Monday, hours before the new Morales order was announced, attorneys for Club Madonna filed a strongly worded reply the city’s dismissal of their claims. In it, the Club alleges that Morale’s office dragged their feet when granting a hearing to discuss the revocation of the business’ license. The first opportunity would have come nearly a month after the emergency order was made.

The documents say that the Club’s first crack at a hearing would come on February 5th, despite the city having two earlier Special Master hearings already scheduled for January 16, and 24.

“We know that the City had not requested a hearing until at least the Wednesday following the Friday closure since this action was filed on Tuesday the 14th and no hearing had been set at that time. Why did the City not ask for a hearing right after the revocation? After all, the Special Master is employed by the City. Presumably, the City Manager could have picked up the phone first thing Monday morning (if not over the weekend) to request a hearing. This was not done,” said the documents filed on Monday.

“The second question is whether the City seriously believes that a hearing scheduled a month after the deprivation can be considered “immediate” under any standard,” continued the reply.

The city’s reply, according to Club Madonna’s fillings, was that the city could not grant the earlier hearing because they needed to finish their investigation.

Then why revoke a business license when a proper investigation had not been conducted?, asked the filings.

At the time of printing the city had not yet entered a response federally, but just hours later after the Club Madonna filing on Monday-outside of court- came up with an agreement to once again allow the gentlemen club to operate in Miami Beach.

Both a Criminal and Civil investigation remain open. As does the federal suit against the city.

About Frank Maradiaga

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