After months of legal battle, Sheila Haley now has her entertainment permit to allow pole dancing at the Tenn-Tucky State Line Tavern just south of Adairville.
Logan Circuit Court Judge Tyler Gill issued a ruling last week on Haley’s appeal of county Judge/Executive Logan Chick’s decision to deny her entertainment permit at the south Logan County bar. Gill’s ruling ordered Chick to issue the permit, which he did Friday afternoon.
“I don’t know that I had to do it quick, but I just went ahead and issued the permit,” Chick said. “Fiscal court might have wanted to do something else, but it wasn’t worth spending a lot of county money over it.”
Haley applied for the permit in March of 2012 so that she could pay for pole dancers to entertain patrons at her establishment.
After causing an uproar with local churches and a very heavily attended public forum, Chick elected to deny Haley’s request about a month later.
“I must deny this application for an entertainment permit, as certain conditions exist that lead me to believe the proposed establishment could have an irreversible negative impact on the safety and wellbeing of the residents of things county, as well as those who are required to regulate this establishment,” Chick said in his ruling.
Haley hired an attorney and filed an appeal of Chick’s ruling soon after.
She was denied a request to have the appeal heard in a trial by jury, but Gill did hear oral arguments from county attorney Joe Ross and Haley’s council, Alan Simpson of Bowling Green, in circuit court last month.
Chick issues his ruling just prior to the new year.
“It was a long hard fight and I had to pay a lot of money for an attorney for what I should have been granted in the first place,” Haley said. “But I am happy with the result.”
In his ruling Gill states that the Kentucky statute that allowed Chick to deny the permit was too vague and thus, unconstitutional.
“That portion of the statutory scheme is invalid as it attempts to convey unfettered arbitrary power in violation of Section 2 of the Kentucky Constitution and is void for vagueness in violation of the right of due process under the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution,” Gill wrote in his order.
Chick said he had no problem with Gill’s ruling.
“The ruling is what it is,” Chick said. “I think the judge struggled with it and rendered a good decision.”
In the order, Gill does state that Chick did nothing wrong in initially denying the permit.
“This Court reviewed the allegations of error against the County Judge/Executive and finds that these claims are without merit,” Gill wrote. “The County Judge/Executive did everything the statute required him to do. His decision to deny the permit was, subjectively speaking, based upon reasoning as sound as any public official in that untenable position might create. The problem does not lie with the County Judge/Executive; rather, it concerns the statute itself.”
Chick said that he did find the statute which called for him to either approve or deny the entertainment permit vague.
“There’s just a little bit there you can work with in it,” he said. “And to tell the truth it does need to be looked at by the legislature. They either take it out of our control or strengthen it.”
Chick said he continues to see a problem with the business because half of the building is said to be in Kentucky and half is said to be in Tennessee.
On the Tennessee side, beer is served, but the dancing will be held on the Kentucky side.
Chick’s executive order granting the permit specifically calls for no alcohol to be served on the Kentucky side of the building where the dancing is taking place.
Haley said she is planning a grand opening on Friday, Jan. 11.
“I am getting everything lined up for a grand opening and we’ll start the pole dancing,” she said.
Haley said that she already has some dancers lined up, but she is looking for more.
“I have some that are ready, but I’ll be interviewing people as well,” Haley said. “I also plan on interviewing some men, so I can have a male review for the ladies every couple of months or so. Anyone interested in an entertainment job should get in touch with me.”