(Juneau) A lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court against the city of Juneau following their rejection of a liquor license for the Solomon gentlemen’s club. The action by the strip club was the result of the Juneau Common Council on Tuesday, June 12th failing to act on a liquor license for the establishment, effectively rejecting the license at that time. However, it may be a moot point as city officials held a special meeting Thursday evening and approved the license. Mayor Dan Wegener told us Friday that the vote at the special meeting was three-to-one; the city had until June 30th to approve the license under state statute.
The whole situation arose after a Hartford man was indicted in federal court on Sex Trafficking charges alleging that four women were forced to dance at area strip clubs for no pay and perform sexual acts for money that he kept. The offenses reportedly occurred at TNT Gentlemen’s Club in Lebanon and the Hardware Store in Clyman. While Solomon was not mentioned in the complaint, the same person owns both Solomon and the Hardware Store. The lawsuit was filed Friday by STR, LLC, the company that owns the two clubs. In addition to the city, five alderpersons are named in the lawsuit. The only alderperson not named is Kay Marose who last week made a motion to approve the license, which ultimately failed for lack of a second.
The lawsuit filed Friday seeks an award of nominal damages for the violation of constitutional rights, punitive damages from individual defendants and attorney fee’s but notes that no monetary damages have been incurred, so there is no claim for compensatory damages, at this time. It does seek to “maintain the status quo” in the issuance of the license. The attorney representing the strip club, Jeff Scott Olson, told us Friday afternoon that he was not aware of the city’s action Thursday night approving the liquor license. Olson said that would be “an extremely significant development that might solve the whole problem” but he is waiting to see written verification before providing a more definitive response.
Read the lawsuit complaint filed Friday here: