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Judge Orders Local Club Remain Closed

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COMANCHE CO., Okla_ 7News has new developments in the ongoing battle to close a Comanche County nightclub because of its violent past.

Tuesday, a judge granted the Comanche County District Attorney's request to revoke the Platinum Gentlemen's Club's beer license. The ruling followed a hearing this morning over whether the club's owner, Arthur Goana intentionally misrepresented himself on his application to renew the club's beer license in 2011. After hearing testimony and arguments from both sides, the judge ruled that Goana was well aware of what he was doing. 

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Cude said the club's license to do business in Oklahoma had been terminated back in 2010, because the company, operating as TT Towers, had not filed the necessary reports with the Secretary of State. 

In spite of that, he said the company renewed its beer license in 2011, telling the court clerk, under oath, that the company was legally allowed to do business in the state. Cude said the club didn't actually reinstate themselves with the state until last month, after the county filed its petition. Goana's defense attorney said his client made a mistake, because the laws his client was dealing with are too vague.

Goana testified that he didn't realize he was not allowed to do business in Oklahoma, and his attorney Art Mata asked the judge to consider the confusing vocabulary surrounding business law.

"It has to tell you what you can't do," Mata said. "Number one, the definition of falsehood means that there's some intent to deceive somebody. If someone's lying about being a felon, and they don't disclose that, I think that's material. He thought he was in good standing. In our opinion, there's a difference in being terminated and being canceled."

Mata argued that in this situation, being canceled means you can not do business and that terminated means you can still operate. He said that law is open to interpretation, and his client made a mistake. The judge disagreed.

Mata said that he believes the double shooting that left two men dead outside the club last month is the real reason this license case even made it to the courtroom.

"You and I both know why it's here," Mata said, "But they didn't allege that, so they can't get that. There was a case at Medicine Park where somebody was shot, and that place wasn't closed down. He doesn't want that kind of business. It's just unfortunate that it happened, but that's why we're here."

The Platinum Gentlemen's Club has been closed for business, ever since the district attorney's office filed a motion to revoke the club's beer license a few weeks ago. A judge granted that request Monday. Art Mata said the closure puts a lot of people, who have nothing to do with the situation, out of work. He said this fight is far from over, and they planning to appeal.

"We have ten days, and it looks like that's what we're going to do," Mata said.

Another point argued by the district attorney's office was the fact that the club's address on various paperwork was different. Goana said the reason for the difference is that county's E911 department told him the club's physical address changed. He said he was not trying to hide anything. The judge did agree with Goana on that.

 

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