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Apply the law equally
28/04/2012 - By Leroy Griffith

Re the Feb. 20 article Club Madonna picks new fight with Miami Beach: BYOB policy called illicit, the article gives a fairly accurate report of my involvement in the adult entertainment industry during the past 50 years.

Posted on Fri, Feb. 24, 2012
Apply the law equally

Re the Feb. 20 article Club Madonna picks new fight with Miami Beach: BYOB policy called illicit, the article gives a fairly accurate report of my involvement in the adult entertainment industry during the past 50 years.
However, your reporter missed the real story, which focuses on the two-faced politics I’ve confronted on Miami Beach in the past seven years in trying to obtain a liquor license.
I am just trying to remain competitive on the Beach where almost every other club is offering some sort of burlesque-style night with one form of nudity or another. And they do not have an adult entertainment license. I just want the city to apply the law equally.
Remember how the city recently wanted to fine resort hotel beach bars for selling alcohol? That ordinance and issue seems to have disappeared from sight, hasn’t it?
The real issue is how the city turned bitter against me and made this a personal vendetta because I sued a former commissioner’s wife for slander. My proposal passed in 2004, 5-2 and then failed in 2005 at the second reading, 4-3 because of an e-mail and slander campaign. Then the mayor and commissioners wanted me to drop my personal lawsuit against Jane Gross and my lawsuit against the city in order to bring the issue back. I agreed to do so.
However, that wasn’t the end. They also tried to have me pay $30,000 for Gross’s legal fees or they would not even allow me to appear before the commission. I refused to pay and as a result, they refused to hear my amendment.
Is that extortion or not?
In 2009, I was promised a “fair” hearing. None of the audio visual equipment was working and when I raised the question directly to then-Commissioner Saul Gross, “Did you or did you not try to extort $30,000 from me?” City Attorney Jose Smith and Mayor Matti Bower instructed him to not answer that question and I was reprimanded for asking the question.
If you get an answer as to whether the city tried to extort me of $30,000, please let me know — I have been waiting seven years for one.
Leroy Griffith, owner,
Club Madonna, Miami Beach