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PULASKI TOWNSHIP, PA. Adult store appeals denial of permits



Published: Sat, July 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The bookstore owner's attorneys claim the township law is unconstitutional.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- It's back to court for the owner of a Pulaski Township bookstore and his employees.

Eric Boron of Salem and two people who work in his U.S. Route 422 adult bookstore -- Candace Ferguson and Terrence Piatek -- are appealing a Pulaski supervisors' decision to deny the business and employees permits under the township adult business ordinance.

Two other employees who were denied permits earlier this year no longer work in the bookstore, Lawrence County Common Pleas Court documents say.

Ruling: In their June 11 decision, supervisors upheld a decision made by township Police Chief James Morris to deny the permits.

Morris testified at a public hearing in March that he found several ordinance violations when he inspected Adultland XXX the previous month.

During the Feb. 2 inspection, Morris found a woman, later identified as Ferguson, working at the business but who had not applied for a permit.

The ordinance requires anyone who wants to work in an adult business to first apply for a permit. Police then do criminal background checks before deciding if a permit will be issued.

Boron testified that Ferguson was not an employee at that time but was trying out for a job. She was later hired and an application for a permit was sent to the township.

Morris contends there were several other violations, including that Boron was open later than township law permits adult businesses to operate. The law states they can be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Adultland XXX was open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., the police chief said.

Response: Boron's appeal says that those hours were set by Judge Ralph D. Pratt of common pleas court in another matter and should not have been considered by the police chief when he made his decision.

Boron's attorneys, H. Louis Sirkin of Cincinnati and Carl Max Janavitz of Pittsburgh, also contend that the township law is unconstitutional because it requires the business owner and employees to give out too much personal information, exceeds the township's authority to regulate businesses, and is vague about things such as judicial review and its definitions of various adult entertainment businesses.

The appeal also points out that Ferguson was a candidate for employment and not an employee during Morris' inspection and claims the police chief didn't approve or deny the application within 30 days .




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