Wendell Willard

The city of Sandy Springs on Dec. 13 filed a lawsuit against four local adult establishments alleging repeated violations of city code and asking a judge to put a stop to it.

The suit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court, names three strip clubs — Flashers, Mardis Gras and Main Stage — and Inserection, an adult fantasy store. The lawsuit recounts alleged violations going back to 2005 when the city of Sandy Springs hired five private investigators to collect evidence at local strip clubs.  The establishments and the city have had a contentious relationship since the city formed in 2005. In 2006 one of the clubs, Main Stage, sued the city over its ordinance that banned the sale of alcohol in adult clubs. The suit is ongoing.

The latest complaint alleges violations of the city’s ordinance occurred within the last two weeks that include the strip clubs running afoul of the city’s “no-touch” regulation, a ban on private areas in adult entertainment businesses and the city’s “masturbation for hire statute.” The city also claims Inserection violated the city’s prohibition against allowing more than one person in a viewing booth at one time and allowing sexual activity in the booths.

City Attorney Wendell Willard said the city felt the court needed to take action.

“We just had a lot of data that we’ve gathered that tells us that these clubs are not complying with state law and with city ordinances and we wanted to have the court enjoin them from any further conduct of that nature,” Willard said.

Inserection declined to comment.  Mardis Gras has not returned a message seeking comment. Larry Rosenbluth, an attorney for Flashers, said on Dec. 16 he is not aware of the lawsuit or any allegations against his client. Alan Begner, attorney for Main Stage, said he thinks the city’s action is retaliation for the ongoing litigation with his client. He said the club has never been charged with violating a state or city ordinance. A reporter has asked the city’s police department to verify the accuracy of this claim.

“I’m very unhappy about it,” Begner said.  “If they think these other clubs do bad stuff then they shouldn’t have brought us into this lawsuit. It’s only filed in an attempt to influence the judge in our other case, which I also object to. We’re going to fight this hard and file a counter claim on it.”