LAVONIA, August 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Town residents in Lavonia, Georgia cheered and gave a standing ovation to Mayor Ralph Owens this week as the town purchased a strip joint in order to shut it down. The strip club, Café Risque opened in 2001 after representing itself under false pretenses to the city authorities. Owner Jerry Sullivan presented his business as a family restaurant.
The city sued Sullivan five times but the courts ruled in his favor, accepting arguments that the lewd dancing was a constitutionally protected form of expression. After the fact, the city passed an ordinance outlawing such clubs, but was powerless to shut down Café Risque.
Sullivan passed away in 2006 but managers kept the business running. Thinking they were selling it to a company which would continue the lewd business, the managers found out only when it was too late that the new owner was in fact a third party through whom the city was working to purchase the property.
The deal finalized Tuesday and city residents accompanied the mayor to the site where the graphic signage for the strip club was torn off the building and burned.
Anybody can buy property and do whatever they want with it. Owens just happened to have done the right thing.
On a side note: would Mumbles Menino ever do such a thing? Never.