California AG Becerra tells local strip clubs to stop violating state health order

California Connection

SAN DIEGO — California’s attorney general has told the owners of two San Diego strip clubs to stop operating in violation of the state’s COVID-19 health orders.

In the letter sent Friday, A.G. Xavier Becerra told Midway Ventures LLC and F-12 Entertainment Group, the owners of Pacers Showgirls International and Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club, respectively, that they are violating the state’s new stay-at-home policy, which bars social gatherings in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Pacers is located in the Midway District, while Cheetahs is in the Kearny Mesa area.

Becerra said the clubs must change their policies because they are in violation of the order, issued Dec. 6, that covers the 11-county Southern California region. He added that the state will pursue legal action if the companies don’t comply.

“Specifically, the Regional Stay at Home Order requires that restaurants, including your clients’ restaurants, may continue to operate for carry-out and delivery services but may not offer indoor or outdoor dining or other services that cause people from different households to come into contact for extended periods of time and thereby increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” Becerra wrote, according to the Associated Press.

“Therefore, MIDWAY AND F-12 are hereby ordered to cease and desist from operating in violation of the Regional Stay at Home Order.”

The clubs could not immediately be reached for comment on Becerra’s letter, but FOX 5 has been covering a similar effort by county officials, some of whom also are working to close the clubs. On Dec. 9, the lawyer representing Pacers argued that entertainers at the two clubs have a right to free expression.

“Unfortunately, the County has singled out adult entertainment venues for closure without any proof that live adult entertainment has resulted or will result in COVID-19 transmission,” lawyer Jason P. Saccuzzo said. “We believe and continue to believe that any attempt by the County to bar all live adult entertainment is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

“At the same time, we remain committed to providing a safe environment for patrons, performers, and employees, and we will operate consistent with the direction of the Court.”

County supervisors are engaged in a legal battle with the clubs over whether they can stay open, with the next hearing scheduled Dec. 16. In a 3-2 vote Wednesday, supervisors approved a decision to appeal if the judge rules against them next week and says Pacers and Cheetahs can remain open.

It was not immediately clear how the attorney general’s letter would impact the proceedings.

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