Sunday, December 18, 2016


For the most part observing ABC Monthly Board meetings are about as exciting as watching water boil.  However, the December 2016 meeting had some humorous and revealing moments.

ABC chairwoman Janet Moore stole the show when she claimed ignorance as to what went on in a Gentlemen's Club during a hearing on a change of location application made by Billy Pope. 


Readers will recall that Pope had dealings with the ABC Board back in 2015 when he successfully appealed a questionable decision the board made about another relocation effort begun back in 2013. The ABC denied that move and Pope appealed that decision and he won a reversal of that decision on June 13, 2016.

Pope came back and still wanted to change the location, as well as the name and activities of a permit held by Club Hollywood.  His 2nd application was denied by ABC Administration Director Bud Roberts in October 2016.  Pope appealed the Director's Decision and that is what was before the board last Wednesday.

Take a look at Pope's application. He clearly states that he wants to operate a Gentlemen's Club. He even submits a drawing that has a huge double stage smack dab in the middle of the first floor.

We feel safe in saying that just about everyone knows what a Gentlemen's Club is.  In fact the publisher of this blog asked his 84 year old mother, a retired school teacher and former minister's wife, if she knew what a Gentlemen's Club was and she stated it was a place where women danced in the nude or with little clothing on.

If you use one of the only tools available to ABC Enforcement agents, Google, and you type in "Gentlemen's Club", this is what you will find.

Moore, feigning surprise (she was actually pissed that Pope/Morley won the appeal - more on that later) that Pope did not specify that he would have female dancers on the clearly indicated stage, went on a tirade about Pope making a fraudulent application and questioning the term Gentlemen's Club as being descriptive of what was going to go on in the establishment.

Pope's attorney, Stephen Morley undaunted by Moore's act, proceeded to give Moore (also an attorney) a lesson on precedent cases involving the right of individuals to operate such establishments and rebuff her apparent ignorance of what transpires in a Gentlemen's Club.


 Morley was assisted in this task by ABC Board member Thomas "Mickey" Powell. 

Powell, who once served as board chairman and is probably the most experienced and knowledgeable of alcohol related legal cases and policies of any board member, stated that he understood the use and definition of the term Gentlemen's Club. 

Powell stated that in his past he had been a frequent flyer in and out of LAX and that he had seen on the side of a building near the entrance to the airport a sign that  he thought did the best job of describing what a Gentlemen's Club was, it simply said "totally nude".

No doubt Powell had seen the flashing red and orange neon sign flashing "NUDE NUDE" sign at the Century Lounge.

Unfortunately the club bit the dust to make way for a parking lot in 2009 after having an interesting history.

ABC Agent Princess Danzy, no doubt acting on the instructions of tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet, testified that she sought out individuals that might be in opposition to the Gentlemen's Club and even placed a poorly crafted petition in a nearby convenience store.  


Mr. Powell pointed out to Agent Danzy that according to  ABC vs. Muncrief in  and Stringfellow vs. ABC , the number of signatures received that are in support of or that are in opposition to a permit is immaterial - what may be material is what they have to say.  

Powell also told Danzy that her document was not clear on what the people were objecting to, other than a private club, and that he did note that a good many people had signed it, for whatever it was worth.

Agent Danzey stated that she had to ask the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department if the area was a "wet" or "dry" one.  One would think that the ABC would have maps or records to be able to identify "wet" or "dry" area of the state.  After all they are the agency that grants permits to sell alcoholic beverages.

ABC Administration Director Bud Roberts stated that the 1836 Club had included Gentlemen's Club as a part of their application.  That is a totally unture.

You can review the entire file sent to us by the ABC and search for Gentlemen's Club and you will not find that term. Although we suspect that a lot of hanky panky goes on there and in the parking lot.


Maybe Roberts is confused as the 1836 Club advertises that it is an exclusive, members only club for businessmen and women.


Chairwoman Moore, frustrated that her assertion that Pope had made a fraudulent application had been ridiculed and for the most part dismissed, ranted several times "he just keeps going on", referring to Morley.  

In fact more time was spent discussing what would go on in the "skyroom" on the 2nd floor than what the term Gentlemen's Club entailed.

When the matter was voted on and Pope's appeal was denied (Powell voted to overturn the Director's Decision and the other board members voted to not overturn it), Chairwoman Moore made a second motion spurred on by her hostility towards Morley to vote on the dead issue a second time. A total exercise in futility done only to exert her limited authority. 

Chairwoman Moore's motion supported the use of the sketchy petition (ignoring legal precedents) and claimed that Pope was less than candid with the ABC in his application.   Moore railed some more that Pope should have stated on the application that he would have dancers. And because of that, she did not believe that he was a qualified candidate. Moore moved to uphold the Director's Decision even after the board had just voted to do so. All but Powell voted "aye".

After the hearing, Chairwoman Moore commented to ABC Attorney Mary Robin Casteel, that Morley would be appealing the matter to Fox (referring to Judge Tim Fox) again.

As we pointed out in our posts about the 1836 Club, the ABC Board allowed individuals with a documented history of non-payment of taxes and fees (a barrier to obtaining a permit) and having questionable moral character to obtain a private club permit. 

Pope's application stated what the purpose for his private club was and included a diagram that provided supporting documentation as to the activities. If there were questions regarding the club's purpose, that is what the ABC board meeting are for, to examine and discuss the application and hear testimony from the applicant.

Pope and his attorney provided a through explanation and provided a preponderance of evidence to back up what a Gentlemen's Club atmosphere was and that the use of it in the application was self-explanatory. Board member Powell put the icing on the cake with his personal experience narrative.

If Pope appeals the ABC Board's decision, no doubt his attorney will be able to secure another victory against the board.