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Local club faces ABC hearing over compliance

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BATON ROUGE- Hundreds of complaints about a club in Baton Rouge have caught the attention of the city's Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

A hearing is scheduled tomorrow over compliance issues for "The Sipps-Empire Club." The club is located off Florida Boulevard near Airline Highway. Neighbors in the Homesites subdivision say problems associated with the club have plagued their area for years.

Carl Grotton is a concerned neighbor.

"People do have to make money in business, but I think they can go about it in a different way," Grotton said.

Grotton is talking about the people who run the club. The City of Baton Rouge's ABC Board is aware of compliance issues. A hearing regarding the club will be held Thursday night after the club was issued citations for the following violations:

-Violating the wine beer and liquor ordinance
-Failing to notify police of a disturbance
-Allowing alcohol consumption in the parking lot
-Operating a business which was adverse to public health, safety and morals

Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis said she's aware of the problems. Over the last couple of years, at least 200 complaints have been filed against the club, according to records she says she obtained from Baton Rouge Police.

Collins-Lewis said she wants to be clear that she isn't opposed to the club, but wants it to follow laws.

The Secretary of State's office has a Lucy Shelton listed as an officer of the Empire club. Today News 2 spoke to a Mr. Shelton on the phone, who did not identify his first name. The line disconnected after News 2 started questioning him about the club and compliance issues.


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