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Don Abbott

PRESS CONFERENCE -  Text from 8/9/02 Press Conference

SUBJECT:  Community opposition to city settlement with Burch Management (operator of numerous sex clubs in the Bachman-NW Hwy area).

The settlement proposed by the City Attorney to let Burch Management out of several lawsuits with the city over their illegal operations and non-conforming uses in our community is premature and not in our best interest.  It will only result in starting the process over in 2003, rather than resolving 16 years of community effort.

The City Attorney did not consult with community leaders.  We did not know about the proposed "compromises" until Friday, August 2nd,  when she presented it as an accomplished fact.  Had the Mayor and Councilman John Loza not intervened on our behalf to try to get us more protection the City Attorney would have completed this compromise over our objections.

The City Attorney recently cost the city over $7 million by prematurely recommending settlement in the lawsuits with the demoted police commanders.  Her predecessor cost us $12 million by prematurely recommending settlement in the lawsuit with Cinemark.  Subsequent court rulings proved we would have prevailed in both situations in Court.  Any settlement negotiations at this time with a known violator of city ordinances is also grossly premature.

The City Attorney is using budget difficulties as an excuse not to do her job of defending city ordinances.  Her proposed settlement will let Burch Management out of several lawsuits and allow them to remain on NW Highway for another year and likely permanently.

The compromise will effectively negate the city's "no touch" ordinance in the sex clubs, which is already not being enforced because the DA is waiting for the City Attorney to "correct" the ordinance language that a low-level criminal judge has ruled "unconstitutional".  This impacts the entire city, not just District 6 or the Bachman/NW Hwy community.  The City Attorney is not serving Dallas taxpayers well by refusing to either appeal the Court ruling declaring our "no touch" ordinance unconstitutional nor revising the language of the ordinance to meet the Court's concerns.  We desperately need for this ordinance to be utilized and enforced.

I expect to be representing District 6 this time next year when the sex club operators would be required to leave NW Highway at Bachman under the proposed settlement between the City and Burch Management.   I will be the council member the community will be asking why the sex clubs aren't gone.  Burch Management has a history of breaking city laws and not following the rules.  No amount of escrowed funds would be adequate leverage to force them to honor their settlement deal. 

There must be no compromise with the sex clubs that does not include criminal action when public lewdness (sexual touching between customers and dancers) occurs in the sex clubs. 
There must be no compromise with Burch Management that will allow them to continue to operate Baby Dolls on Northwest Highway at Bachman for another year.  We want all Burch facilities on Northwest Highway to close the day their license to operate expires or the day any current waiver expires.

The City Attorney should do her job -- enforce city ordinances or correct the language in the ordinances so they can be enforced.





  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8