Ector County Looking To Revise 14-Year-Old Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance

Ector County Looking To Revise 14-Year-Old Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance

by Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - New amendments to the sexually oriented business ordinance could have places like Ricks Cabaret and Jaguar Club changing how the businesses are being run. On Tuesday, the Ector County Commissioners Court heard from County Attorney Dusty Gallivan about revising the 14-year-old ordinance. The establishments, which have no full nudity dancers, never had to get a license before. In particular, Ricks Cabaret and Jaguars Club.

"The ordinance did not apply to Ricks Cabaret and Jaguars so therefore they did not have to register. When the Sheriffs office would investigate certain things, they would only investigate criminal offenses, there was no ordinance they could enforce," Ector County Attorney, Dusty Gallivan said.

Gallivan says the Sheriff's Office would be called to the clubs in the past because of prostitution, drug use, drug sales and gunfire. Entertainers were dancing with some form of clothing on so the club wasn't in violation. Gallivan is hoping these new revisions are passed.

"I was shocked when those businesses didn't have to register and weren't addressed before. We are addressing them now, we're hoping to add that prevision which will give the Sheriffs Office the tools to investigate," Gallivan said.

Another revision that might be added to the ordinance is all employees are required to get a license, even those who are not dancing. Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson agrees the revisions are needed.

"We can't make them get a license for a sexually oriented business the way the present ordinance is written. This will take into account and close that loop hole," Donaldson said.

Gallivan says there aren't that many revisions that will be done and it remains against the law to touch the entertainers.

"It would still be a criminal offense under the penal code if they allowed their patrons to touch the entertainers," Gallivan said.

NewsWest 9 tried reach out to Ricks Cabaret and Jaguars Club but no one was available. The Commissioners Court will hold a public hearing on this topic sometime next month. If these revisions are passed by the Commissioners Court, there will be a grace period before the county steps in and starts fining the sexually oriented businesses.