The only strip club in Tulare County was granted permission to reopen its doors Tuesday when the Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to renew its adult oriented business license.
Last year, Saints & Sinners Gentlemen’s Club was denied the license renewal after the Sheriff’s Department cited public safety problems at the business south of Lindsay.
Club owner Marilyn Lopez said she’s owned the business since 2001, but it has been closed for about a year while she dealt with the denial of her business license renewal application.
“I’m just a woman working for my family,” Lopez said in Spanish. “I believe justice was served.”
She said she hoped to reopen the club, formerly known as Campesino,“in a few days.”
The sheriff’s department told supervisors that several incidents took place inside the club or in the parking lot.
They included finding a minor on premises with a bikini and makeup as if she were employed to dance; dancers without proper licenses; two dancers running out the back door when deputies arrived and who were arrested on a warrant and being high on drugs; dancers seeking tips who violated the 10-foot clearance rule; a report of a rape; and other issues.
In 2007, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control revoked the club’s license to serve alcohol. (The alcohol license was revoked due to employment of minors, lewd conduct, prostitution, and illegal drug sales, the ABC said.)
Attorney Victor Lopez of Visalia — who is no relation to the owner — told supervisors that only two or three incidents per year took place, far less than other drinking establishments.
“She’s being singled out because of the type of business she runs,” Lopez said. “It would be a violation of the Constitution” to deny a business license, he said. “It’s unjustified.”
Supervisors met in closed session under the exemption for potential litigation, and held a public discussion.
“I don’t believe enough evidence was shown to deny a permit,” Supervisor Phil Cox said.
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said he’s not upset by the supervisors’ action.
If illegal activity occurs at the club, deputies will enforce the laws, he said.
“We’ll keep the community as safe as possible,” he said.
At a hearing before the Board of Supervisors,