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The Darien Town Board might tighten regulation of sexually oriented businesses after a string of drug busts implicated employees at Vegas Gentlemen’s Club, W9031 Highway 14.

TOWN OF DARIEN

A strip club owner pushed back on new ordinances the Darien Town Board proposed for sexually oriented businesses Tuesday night, claiming one in particular could strain the relationship between the clubs and the town.

Jason Schuster, who owns Vegas Gentlemen’s Club, said during the board meeting’s public comment portion that he has “a couple questions and concerns” with the ordinances.

The proposed ordinances would require improvements to exterior lighting and that strip clubs keep employee identification on site, such as a U.S. passport or immigration card. The Walworth County Sheriff’s Office suggested the identification measure because of problems it has had in the past when identifying dancers, many of whom use a stage name.

Though Schuster disagreed with these proposals, he said his biggest qualm with the new ordinances is an additional license suspension amendment in one of them. The amendment states a strip club license could be suspended for up to 90 days if a licensee has “participated in or allowed ongoing or continued violations of Wisconsin law.”

According to the proposed amendment, that could include law enforcement intervention more than three times in a 60-day time frame that stems from “disorderly behavior on the premises of the sexually oriented business.”

“I don’t believe that this promotes a healthy relationship between the entities of the ownership, the town board and the sheriff’s department,” Schuster said. “I just think that the communication between the entities has to be very, very thorough.”

If the suspension amendment is approved, Schuster said management at his club could possibly be deterred from calling authorities for fear of having its license suspended.

An attorney with Show Palace, another sexually oriented business in the town of Darien, told the board the ordinances were appropriate.

The ordinances come after a large drug bust across southern Wisconsin in February that led to arrests of at least three employees of the Vegas Gentlemen’s Club. They were arrested on charges of selling cocaine, and a criminal complaint said some of the transactions took place in the club.

Darien Town Chairman Cecil Logterman said the board will continue working on the ordinances and vote on them at a later meeting.

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