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The Greg Sakas Drama in North Carolina Has Become Les Miserables

Think of the obsessive policeman Javert hounding Jean Valjean over a loaf of bread in the novel, Les Miserables.

That’s what you’ve got going on in New Bern, North Carolina, right now with Greg Sakas and head cop Frank Palombo [pictured] going toe to toe over a bunch of nonsense.

Sakas’ adult store Pure Bliss was raided twice by New Bern, North police last year, and Sakas was continually harassed long after those visits. Sakas went to court in August. The case, with its flimsy misdemeanor charges was tossed because the judge, Peter Mack, obviously saw that what motivated the police actions was Palombo’s toadying up to the Christian Coalition.

Mack was the only judge with the guts to preside over the case, the others preferring not to get in the middle of this political tug-o-war. But did Mack’s decision stop the cops or the Coalition? No. Because right after the trial, the police in Wilmington, North Carolina where Sakas has another store, Intimate Bliss, took up right where New Bern left off. At the orders of the chief gestapo Ralph Evangelous, they walked into Sakas’ store 11 cops-strong looking for zoning violations.

Only their raid occupied several days and virtually shut Sakas down. Matters were resolved temporarily, but the cops are back at the New Bern store trying to make Sakas’ life miserable.

For what he’s gone through with little or no help, except in some rare instances from the adult industry, the Free Speech Coalition’s man of the year should have been Sakas, if only for the fact that he doesn’t sell bags of vomit like Max Hardcore. But I guess Sakas doesn’t write the Free Speech Coalition checks.

So what comes down to it, is this. Sakas was told by his attorneys to shut up. And Sakas did for awhile. But not all advice from attorneys is good advice. So Sakas, who could very well be New Bern’s answer to Skeeter Kerkove, this week left me a couple of messages to say that he’s not going to keep quiet. Principally, because the New Bern police have failed to live up to their end of an agreement to return his inventory, according to him. Sakas says they cops returned a third of what they confiscated.

“And they will not agree to let us go back and start operating,” Sakas continues.

“We take a chance if we do go back that they would hit us again regardless of the fact. The insurance company is basically telling us that they want to settle. We could live with that. But the insurance company also wants us to provide quarterly reports from a CPA and allow them to come in any time they want. Any time we change one fixture we have to let them know about it. The arbitrator and attorney wouldn’t tell them what I said. Because I told them to screw themselves basically.”

“We got cops cars that are now across the street again as many as two a day doing surveillance. Then I had an employee go out there and take down license plates. Then they shoot out of the parking lot. What are they afraid of? I thought they were there protecting us? I guess they’re scared shitless of us, aren’t they? Should be the other way around.”

“Am I mad? I’m madder than hell over this whole thing because that police chief- no matter what they tell him- is going to do it the way he wants. Men like him don’t need to be in the position that he’s in. Because it’s not about him. The city wants to clear this out, but I’m not willing to for the money they want.”

In a game of phone tag, Sakas then called later this week with another update. He said that he e-mailed Phil Harvey at Adam & Eve because A&E’s got a store in Wilmington as well.

“We know how the rest of the stores are operating,” says Sakas. “Why is it they’ve picked me? If we’re not legal, the rest of them are less because they’re closer to churches and houses than we are. And they don’t even carry regular movies and magazines. So why in the world are they picking on us?”

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