Judge's ruling keeps Richland County nightclub closed after fatal shooting

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A judge has granted a temporary injunction against a Richland County nightclub recently shut down by county officials on grounds that the club was operating as an illegal strip club.

Judge Thomas Cooper granted the injunction Thursday after county attorneys moved to shutter the club following a shooting that killed two brothers in December.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has been working to get the club's doors shut for good. Recently, county attorneys slammed the owners of the club with a stop work order, barring them from even opening the club's doors.

Mark Whitlark, the attorney for the business's owner, said they have complied with all county ordinances.

"We are remaining closed and have been completely reorganizing and strictly adhering to Richland County ordinance requirements," Whitlark said. "So, there can be no question we are in full compliance and are a bona fide drinking place and not a sexually oriented business by any interpretation even if Mother Teresa was the critic."

Thursday's injunction gives a victory to the sheriff's department in their efforts.

"We will ask for a reconsideration by the court because there is insufficient evidence to support the issuance of an injunction in our opinion," Whitlark continued. "We have proven we are in compliance with every single requirement in the Richland County ordinances and the entire campaign against the business is based upon alleged violations that occurred almost a year ago."

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