The state is considering permanently revoking the permit that allowed liquor sales in Lipstick Gentlemen’s Club, Louisiana’s chief enforcer of alcohol laws said Wednesday.
Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert said he would hold a special hearing Thursday “to discuss the future” of Lipstick, a bar that featured exotic dancers on the south end of Johnston Street in Lafayette.
The move adds to the problems facing Lafayette strip club owner Mohammed Ali Makki.
The ATC temporarily pulled Lipstick’s alcohol permit on May 14 when Makki and 17 women working for the club were either arrested or were being sought for arrest in a raid by law enforcement agents. The agents, from multiple agencies, conducted the raid after an eight-month undercover operation. The women were booked on various felony counts.
Jeanerette Police Chief Marvin Grogan, who for years worked security at the club, was arrested after the raid. He’s accused of being a law enforcement officer and allowing felonies like drug sales and soliciting for prostitution to occur in plain sight.
Makki was booked on 10 counts of obscenity and on one count of keeping a disorderly place. The ATC on Wednesday distributed photos of the interior of Lipstick that showed the club in stages of dilapidation: the ceiling falling in, the floor filthy, the upholstery on booth seats shredded.
Hebert said Lipstick’s temporary permit suspension could become permanent.
The special hearing will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Lafayette Consolidated Government building on West University Avenue, in the City-Parish Council chambers.
Efforts to reach Makki for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful. A phone number listed for Lipstick Gentlemen’s Club has been temporarily disconnected, and there is no residential listing for Makki in Lafayette.
The women arrested in the May raid were booked on counts of soliciting prostitution, obscenity, drug sales and failing to register as exotic dancers.
Of the 17 women arrested, only Ira Ashante Duhon, 22, remains in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. Her bail was set at $21,000 on counts of obscenity, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and prostitution.
Grogan, the former Jeanerette police chief, was arrested a few days after the raid. Authorities said that while he worked security, he wore a shirt that identified him as a police officer, wore his Jeanerette police badge and commuted from his home in Jeanerette to his work at Lipstick in an unmarked police car. Grogan later resigned as chief.