CHARLESTON, W.Va.– A Kanawha County judge has refused to reinstate the suspended liquor license at a strip club where a Powerball millionaire was allegedly drugged during a failed robbery attempt.
Kanawha County Judge Charles King’s ruling Wednesday places the future of the Pink Pony, the Cross Lanes strip club, in jeopardy. Its lawyers say the club is losing $12,000 per week since the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration withdrew its liquor license last month.
The Pink Pony is part of Galardi South Enterprise, a chain of strip clubs based in Atlanta. The company’s chief legal counsel, Suzanne Coe, says the Pink Pony is being politically targeted because it offers nude dancing.
ABCA investigators also allege that the Pink Pony operated after hours and that its dancers touched patrons while stripping.
Administrative Law Judge Carol Bloom is expected to issue a recommendation in November after reviewing the case to determine if the ABCA should revoke the club’s liquor license. After that, Ron Moats, the acting ABCA commissioner, will make a final decision.
Pink Pony manager Jeffrey Caplinger and his girlfriend, Misty Dawn Arnold, a club employee, were arrested Aug. 7 on charges they tried to steal $545,000 from Powerball winner Jack Whittaker two days earlier.
Whittaker was at the club when the couple allegedly dosed his drink, then broke into his sport-utility vehicle parked outside. The couple are accused of stealing a briefcase containing $545,000 in cash and cashier’s checks, police said.
Whittaker — who hit the record $314.9 million Powerball jackpot on Christmas — was able to summon help, and the money and the briefcase were found behind a trash bin.