The Doll House strip club has closed its doors, the owner said Wednesday after a run-in with law enforcement agents.
Payne County sheriff's contend they found liquor at the club and took away the business' license to sell low-point beer Friday.
Owner Ernie Bales said the sheriff's office returned the license Wednesday, but he plans to surrender it today.
"We're closing it. I've had enough," Bales said of the club east of Stillwater at 7320 E. Sixth Ave. Bales contends the sheriff's office has been unfair in dealings with the establishment.
Sheriff R.B. Hauf confirmed the beer license was given to Bales' attorney Luke Anthony.
"The (district attorney) said we could release it," Hauf said.
Hauf and Capt. Kevin Woodward said sheriff's deputies can temporarily confiscate a beer license during an investigation.
A sheriff's office report written by Deputy Paul Fox claims deputies found empty liquor bottles and what they think was liquor when they went to the Doll House at 9:47 p.m. Friday for a bar check. Woodward told the NewsPress it was a routine check.
"During the bar check, I observed beer pitchers at several tables that had ice cubes in them and that the color of the liquid looked light and did not have the usual foam on top," Fox stated in the report. The liquid smelled like whiskey mixed with another substance, the report claims. Fox believed the pitchers contained whiskey and water, according to his report. A sample of the liquid will be sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for testing.
The report contends Fox found bottles of vodka, whiskey and watermelon-flavored liquor.
"All of these bottles were found in the changing room for the dancers, which I had been in approximately one week before and removed two other bottles," Fox wrote in the report.
Ernie Bales claims Fox walked into the dressing room and moved a ceiling tile. The bottles were in the ceiling, Ernie Bales said.
Another deputy found what he believes were Bloody Marys in a trash can in the office, according to the report. Bales told the NewsPress they were actually red beers.
The report says Chad Bales, a manager and son of owner Ernie Bales, and Jay Rogers, a bartender, were at the scene but left while deputies were there. They did not answer calls to their cell phones, the report claims.
Ernie Bales contacted an employee, and Fox spoke with Bales on the phone that night, the report says.
"Mr. Bales stated, ‘We are being set up. If you want us out of there, we will close it down right now,'" Fox's report says. "I took exception to this accusation and ended our conversation after Ernie continued to state he was not talking about me.
"Mr. Bales asked the employee if his son Chad and bartender Jay would be arrested if they came back to the establishment. I informed the employee to tell Mr. Bales that yes they would. Neither Chad Bales nor Jay Rogers arrived back at the scene," the report claims.
Ernie Bales told the NewsPress Wednesday Chad Bales and his wife dropped by the Doll House to bring employees pizza. Ernie Bales said family had planned a surprise reunion for Chad Bales and his son, who is in the U.S. Army. Ernie Bales said he told Chad Bales to go where his son was waiting.
Ernie Bales denies there was liquor in pitchers at the establishment. If there was liquor at the Doll House, customers brought it inside, he contends.
"It was not served from our bar. It was not served from us. I don't know how to prevent (customers from bringing it in) ... " Ernie Bales said. "There's 22 employees there and they'll all vouch for what I'm telling you now: we do not sell liquor out there."
Security guards search employees and their bags every evening when they come to work, Ernie Bales said.
Conflicts with the sheriff's office have taken a toll on the family, Bales said, and he's going to sell the club. The establishment has been closed since deputies took the beer license Friday.
The report states the sheriff's office will ask the Payne County District Attorney's office to issue an arrest warrant for Chad Bales. The report accuses him of performing an activity or transaction that requires a license without having the proper license, a misdemeanor offense. Chad Bales has not been charged, according to court records.
Chad Bales has two unrelated misdemeanor charges: permitting a person under 21 years of age to enter into, remain within, or loiter about the designated bar area of a mixed beverage establishment; and allowing a person under 21 into a liquor bar. An affidavit filed in one case claimed a 16-year-old was in the strip club. An affidavit filed in the other case alleges a 20-year-old danced at the club, even though the establishment was not allowed to let in any person younger than 21. Deputy Paul Fox wrote affidavits in both cases. The cases are pending.
The sheriff said the Doll House had a liquor license at one time. Only those 21 and older can be admitted to a bar that sells alcohol more potent than beer with 3.2 percent alcohol content.
Rogers also has a pending misdemeanor charge. He is accused of having liquor at the bar in November when the club did not have a liquor license, an affidavit filed in the case claims. Deputy Rockford Brown's investigation led to that charge.