PRESS CONFERENCE - Text from 8/9/02
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
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.