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Judge Upholds Denial of Nightclub Dance License

February 23, 1986|STEPHEN BRAUN | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has upheld a decision by the West Hollywood City Council that prevented a Sunset Strip nightclub from operating as a private discotheque.

Judge Warren H. Deering ruled Feb. 14 that the council last October properly refused to issue a dance license to Glitter, a nightclub in the 9000 block of Sunset Boulevard. The city cited questions over owner Demetrius Johnson's past financial dealings with the club and its violations of state alcohol laws.

Racial Bias Alleged

In January, Johnson filed a lawsuit against the city, contending that the council did not provide adequate evidence for denying him a dance permit. Johnson, who is black, also alleged that he was the victim of racial discrimination by city officials and residents who live near the club.

Reached at his office Thursday, Johnson declined to comment directly on the ruling, saying that he had not heard from his attorney.

But the club owner, who has received support from patrons and the Hollywood-Beverly Hills chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, did say he intended "to take this as far as I can go."

He said he was also waiting for a final decision from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on whether he will be granted a new liquor license for the club. Glitter has been closed since July for lack of the necessary licenses, he said.

West Hollywood City Atty. Michael Jenkins said the judge's ruling affirmed that the council decision "was supported by evidence and was the proper finding. Mr. Johnson received a full and fair hearing."

Owner's Statements

During council hearings last October, Johnson claimed that he did not have any financial involvement in the club before last July. He said he should not be held responsible for earlier violations and promised that there would be no future ones.

However, Capt. James I. Cook, commander of the county Sheriff Department's West Hollywood station, said Johnson had been one of the owners when the club violated state alcohol laws.

Neighbors also have complained that the club did not provide adequate parking and that patrons caused disturbances on side streets.

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