Cited Bourbon Street strip clubs to have their day in court

Cited Bourbon Street strip clubs to have their day in court

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The streets of the French Quarter continue to earn a reputation for crime and abuse. Less than two weeks ago, a man shot into a crowd of people near St. Louis and Dauphine streets. In September, a drunken man attacked a homeowner in his courtyard after a morning walk. And it's crime like this that's has the state taking notice.

The French Quarter is the jewel for the whole state," ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert said. "And we want to send a strong message out there that we are doing everything that we possibly can to keep control of the French Quarter - that it's a safe place that everybody can come and visit."

Hebert is spending a lot of time in the city lately, along with state troopers, to try and fix the Quarter's image. Last week, his agency revoked the liquor licenses of five French Quarter strip clubs after investigators say employees were involved in selling drugs and prostitution.

But a day after the agency busted the businesses, an Orleans Parish judge issued a temporary restraining order allowing the clubs to stay open through the Halloween weekend.

"When we go down and we shut down five of them and the very next day they're allowed to open, I think it's discouraging and I think it sends a bad message," Hebert said.

And Hebert said the ATC is finding more businesses involved in illegal activity.

"These are the types of places that if we don't put them under control, you're not going to control murder. You're not going to control theft. You're not going to control all the other crime that is going on, because drugs and prostitution is where it starts," he said. "And I believe a lot of these places is a safe haven for them."

The strip clubs each face three counts of drug dealing and three counts of prostitution. The business owners declined to talk, but hearings are set for Wednesday and Thursday to determine their fate.

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