11 February, 2019
Hearing on the fate of embattled Wilson strip club postponed
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hearing on the fate of a Wilson strip club, long the subject of criticism from authorities and quality-of-life complaints from neighbors, was postponed Friday.
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli brought a lawsuit against Spanky's East Gentleman's Club shortly after three men were wounded in a late-night shooting in mid-January. The case was to be considered before a Northampton County judge, but at the request of a lawyer for the club, it was continued to Thursday.
The club has been closed since Tuesday, when Judge Samuel Murray granted a temporary injunction as prosecutors pursue a legal fight to shut it down permanently.
The motion filed by Attorney Joseph Hanyon, who represents the owners of Spanky's, requests the owners get an opportunity to enter the club to secure the premises, as they were not aware that it would be shuttered Tuesday. The motion also asks for more time to prepare for the hearing.
Wilson police arrested 41-year-old Clarence T. Paschal, of Allentown, on attempted homicide and related charges in the Jan. 19 shooting.
That incident, Morganelli said, was the tipping point in a case that extends back to 2006, the year 23-year-old Jason Oliver of Easton was killed in gunfire that erupted in the parking lot. Since then, Morganelli said, Wilson police have responded to about 165 calls related to the club, including for shootings, assaults, drug overdoses, drunken driving and public drunkenness.
Morganelli's petition against Spanky's lists 10 neighboring residents and businesses who have signed complaints against the club.
Pennsylvania law allows prosecutors or law enforcement to bring a "nuisance action" against a bar or club which, if successful, would result in the county closing down the establishment for up to a year.