Representatives from the Comanche County District Attorney's Office and attorneys for the owner of the Platinum Gentlemens' Club appeared in court Tuesday for brief arguments regarding the revocation of the establishment's license to serve beer, which ended with the judge deciding to side with the county.
Scene of two recent shooting deaths
The dispute over whether the club at 12402 Cache Road would have its beverage license revoked was heard after the county filed a motion earlier this month following a Jan. 20 double-homicide that left 20-year-old Pfc. Jamar M. Mitchell and 28-year-old George L. Whitney II dead.
Residents living nearby, and now a group of concerned citizens led by Tony Que circulating a petition to declare the club a public nuisance, have been pressing Comanche County Commissioners to do something about the establishment, where several shootings and violent events have occurred over the years. Que, who was present at Tuesday's hearing, said he doesn't plan to stop fighting for the closure of the club, which he says caters to a dangerous crowd whose violence will eventually spill into the surrounding community.
Defense attorney Art Mata, representing T.T. Towers LLC, the corporation that owns the club, commented after the hearing that the club was receiving unequal treatment and that issues presented in the Feb. 8 motion to revoke the license were not the real reason both sides wound up in court.
"We all know why (this case is being heard)," Mata said after the hearing. He then reminded the media that following the fatal shooting of Tim Taylor outside a bar in Medicine Park there were no efforts made to close that establishment.
Before the judge, Comanche County Assistant District Attorney Jerry Cude argued that the owner of the club and T.T. Towers LLC, Arthur Gaona, at the time he applied for the beverage license swore in an affidavit that T.T. Towers LLC, was a corporation "duly authorized to transact business in the State of Oklahoma," according to court records. Cude explained that distinction is required for a beverage license to be awarded. However, T.T. Towers LLC's status as a domestic limited liability company in Oklahoma had been terminated in November 2010, almost a year before they applied for the beverage license.
Also, the petition for revocation states the club would be doing business at 12305 Cache Road, when the actual address is 12402 Cache Road.
"The statements contained in the said Affidavit and Application, that the Applicant was authorized to transact business in the State of Oklahoma at that time, and the address where the applicant would be doing business were materially false," the motion read.
The address discrepancy was quickly cleared up after Gaona, who briefly testified, explained the corporation had received a letter from the 911 dispatch center to use the alternative address.
A business manager for T.T. Towers LLC testified she had received the letter about the address, but changes to the Oklahoma state statutes regarding the preparation of certain tax reports for the business led her to believe she no longer was required to prepare the tax documents, which resulted in the company's domestic liability company status being terminated.
At the time of the beverage license application, Gaona testified he was under the impression they were still licensed to do business in Oklahoma, as they allegedly did not receive any notification their status had been terminated. However Cude argued that for him to have signed a sworn affidavit stating they were able to conduct business in Oklahoma, it was the responsibility of their corporation to call the Secretary of State to ensure that was truean action that was never completed.