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Selling Ecstasy?

Per agreement, Platinum Plus is allowed to reopen.

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After being busted -- so to speak -- last month, Platinum Plus has reopened after an agreement between the club and the district attorney's office was approved in court.

The club, sometimes called the Mt. Moriah Performing Arts Center, was closed under the state nuisance law. An undercover operation led to indictments of five employees for selling ecstasy. Platinum also has been issued 103 citations for prohibited/pornographic conduct since the beginning of the year.

Platinum Plus attorney Ted Hansom and prosecutor Valerie Smith met before General Sessions Criminal Court judge Larry Potter on September 2nd.

"Nobody admits wrongdoing of any kind," Hansom said shortly before the hearing. "If what was alleged was going on and was permitted to happen, it was a violation of the nuisance ordinance, but we didn't know it was going on."

Under the consent agreement, Platinum Plus will post signage about illegal activities and will screen potential employees for felony drug or prostitution convictions. Hansom said that Platinum Plus owner Ralph Lunati was trying to deal with the problem, and if the district attorney's office knew of a better way, they were open to suggestions.

"To my client, it's a business. He makes a nice income by guys who want to come and look at dancers," said Hansom. "Why would he want to risk that with drug sales and prostitution?"

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