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Published: Saturday, 9/13/2003

State mulls revocation of XO Club license

Maumee officials told a hearing officer yesterday that the liquor permit for XO Gentlemen's Club should be revoked because the controversial strip club has not complied with the terms of an agreement that allowed it to open in December.

Sheilah McAdams, the city law director, said the XO Club is operating as a sexually oriented business in violation of the city's zoning ordinance, and ignoring restrictions imposed by a federal judge on dancers having contact with patrons.

Two city police officers told James Bally, a staff attorney for the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Liquor Control, that they paid dancers for private dances at the club from December through March.

The officers said the dancers simulated sexual acts with them during couch dances and dancers performed simulated sex acts on each other.

The three-hour hearing in Toledo Municipal Court was held at Maumee's request to oppose the renewal of XO Club's liquor license. Mr. Bally will make a report and recommendation to the division's superintendent, who will decide whether to sustain or overrule the objection.

The club, at Dussel Drive and Holland Road, is challenging Maumee's zoning law that restricts sexually oriented businesses to industrial districts. U.S. District Court Judge David Katz allowed the club to open in December if it agreed not to operate as an adult cabaret while he worked on his ruling.

Judge Katz found the club in contempt of court in April for violating the order after Maumee officials alleged dancers were making physical contact with patrons. He ordered XO to close partitioned areas and pay $8,500 for the costs incurred by Maumee to monitor the club.

Maumee police Detective Sgt. Gayle Lohrbach said a bartender was cited for selling alcohol to a 20-year-old woman. He said the department investigated two incidents involving intoxicated patrons, including a 19-year-old woman.

James Andrioff, an attorney for XO, said the allegations made at the hearing are related to zoning issues and the use of the club for adult entertainment. “They do not have proper grounds for objecting to the renewal of the liquor permit,” Mr. Andrioff said.

Mr. Bally said he will make a recommendation in four to five weeks.



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