Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Strip club gets a chance
to save its liquor license

By Debra Barayuga

Golden Dolls Showgirls, a Keeaumoku Street strip club, will have a chance to present evidence in its fight to keep its liquor license.

Circuit Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo recently sent the case back to the Liquor Commission, which voted last month to revoke the bar's liquor license after finding violations.

Golden Dolls had appealed the Oct. 25 decision to the Circuit Court, arguing the commission violated the bar's right to a fair and impartial hearing by refusing to consider evidence, said Golden Dolls' attorney David Gierlach.

The commission, which meets Thursday, had voted 3-2 to revoke Golden Dolls' liquor license after upholding 14 violations involving time records, having unregistered nude dancers and an underage dancer. The charges stemmed from a police undercover operation.

Gierlach said he expects to present evidence at this week's meeting that the bar had been served with official commission documents de-licensing the second floor where alleged violations took place, and therefore was outside the commission's jurisdiction.

The de-licensing apparently had been approved by commission staffer John Carroll, acting on behalf of the commission administrator.

Gierlach said the same method of de-licensing has been used for other establishments, including those where significantly worse violations have occurred and have not come close to being stripped of their licenses.

City attorneys have said the commission has never given authority to a staff member to de-license a portion of the premises.

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