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Wed Oct 11, 2017, 05:37 AM

Federal Judge Rules Nightclub Owners Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Portland Regulators Can

Federal Judge Rules Nightclub Owner’s Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Portland Regulators Can Proceed

The owner of shuttered Northeast Portland strip club Exotica International Club for Men can move forward with her claims that the city forced her to shut down through racist enforcement of liquor laws, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

The club, one of the few in Portland that catered to black clientele, closed in July 2015.

Owner Donna Thames says she had to shut down because the city made her close at midnight for three months as part of a "prolonged cooling-off period" after a shooting in the Exotica parking lot injured three people. Closing early was economically impossible, Thames says, because her dancers and bartenders told her they wouldn't work at a club where they would miss out on lucrative late nights.

Thames sued the city and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in August 2016, claiming it targeted her as part of a policy of shutting down black clubs. Thames says the city didn't impose similar restrictions after shootings at clubs frequented by white customers.

Read more: http://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2017/10/07/federal-judge-rules-nightclub-owners-racial-discrimination-lawsuit-against-portland-regulators-can-proceed/

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