2 March, 2017
County investigating Power City strip club allegations
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from eastoregonian.com.
Code enforcement visited a Power City address Monday after complaints that it was being used as a strip club without the proper permits.
The Umatilla County department of land use planning has received complaints of a strip club operating illegally outside of Umatilla.
Planning director Tamra Mabbott confirmed that county code enforcement employees had visited the address of 82090 Highway 395 North after allegations that a section of the building had been used as a strip club that weekend. No one answered the door.
The property is outside of the city of Umatilla's limits but inside its urban growth boundary. Mabbott said "several" permits, including a land use permit, would be required to use the building for entertainment or to serve food or beverages. But both she and Umatilla planning director Bill Searles said no one had applied for permits for that address through either the city or county.
The building is located in Power City shortly before Highway 395 intersects with Highway 730. Part of the property houses two retail businesses, but on Monday afternoon the storefront on the south side, where the strip club was allegedly operating, was locked and all of the windows covered. A string of red lights and several red light bulbs along the front of the storefront were lit, but no sign announced a business name.
Mabbott said if the code enforcement office determines a business is not operating according to the county's land use codes, the first step will be a warning, followed by fines if the business does not get in compliance.
Despite complaints to the planning office, the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office reported that they did not get any calls for service to the Power City area over the weekend.
Four different sources who asked that their name not be used said that Justin Evans was behind the alleged strip club.
Evans operated the Night Moves strip club in Umatilla from 2010 to 2014. The club closed its doors after he was convicted of fourth degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and physical harassment in January 2015 for attacking Steve Bunn, who would later become the owner of Honey Bunnz Hideaway in Umatilla.
A Hermiston Police Department report detailing the incident at Wal-Mart stated that security camera footage showed Evans attacking Bunn from behind, taking him to the ground while punching and kicking him. Bunn also stated that Evans hit him in the head with a spray paint can.
Based on Evans' assault conviction, the city of Milton-Freewater rejected his business license application in July 2015 to run a strip club (also called Night Moves) in that city. A couple weeks later, the city granted a business license to a former business associate of Evans' to run a strip club called The Red Zone in the same location. That club closed earlier this year.
For part of 2015, while Evans was applying for a business license in Milton-Freewater, a Facebook page using the same phone number as the one on Evans' application advertised Night Moves Entertainment, a "mobile exotic dancing experience" that could be booked for private parties and events.
Evans did not answer calls to that phone number, or a message to the email address that was also listed on the Milton-Freewater application.