Las Vegas Sun

April 24, 2014

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Editorial: When a deal is a deal

Wednesday's Municipal Court conviction of Jessica Crockett for prostitution solicitation normally wouldn't merit much attention -- if at all. But this was anything but a routine case. Crockett was a dancer employed by the Treasures strip club. This is the same strip club which, at the time it received a conditional license, pledged that it would shut its doors without a fight if any of its dancers were convicted of prostitution. That day would appear to be here, but a story in Thursday's Las Vegas Sun suggests that it's unclear if that will be the case. Some councilmen question whether they can single out Treasures for tougher enforcement than other strip clubs, which haven't had the same conditions imposed on them. Making the outcome even more uncertain is that at least two members of the City Council won't be able to vote because of conflicts of interest -- Mayor Oscar Goodman (because his son Ross represents Treasures) and Councilman Michael Mack (because he provides consul! ting services for Treasures).

While a lawyer for the strip club subsequently said that it was a mistake to have made the pledge, the fact is that the prostitution-free promise was essential for Treasures to obtain a liquor license, without which a topless club can't generate enough customers to stay open. There were many reasons why the owners of Treasures weren't having an easy time in 2001 when they applied for the liquor license. For one, Las Vegas Metro Police had warned the City Council in 2001 that Treasures' owners, Ali Davari and Hassan Davari, had operated strip clubs in Houston where dancers had engaged in illegal sexual activities and alcohol was sold to minors. More recently it was revealed that there was a money laundering investigation into the Davaris' clubs in Texas.

It would be a mistake if the City Council allows the Davari brothers to evade the promise they made -- an action that would not go unnoticed by other businesses that must appear before the City Council.

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