Strip club, police union to fight for security
By Margaret Harding
Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A strip club and the police union are promising to fight Pittsburgh acting police Chief Regina McDonald's decision to forbid off-duty police officers from working security details at strip clubs.
Attorney Jonathan Kamin, who represents the Downtown strip club Blush, vowed to take the city to court.
"We're disappointed that the chief chose to unilaterally decide to violate our rights and the protection of speech," Kamin said. "We hope she will reverse the policy. Police have been there on weekends for 48 years."
McDonald notified Blush and Cheerleaders Gentlemen's Club in the Strip District this week that they no longer are allowed to hire off-duty officers.
When questioned in February about permitting officers to work such details, she said she planned to review the issue with the city law department.
"Officers are prohibited from working secondary employment at any location that may tend to bring the bureau into disrepute," Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said on Friday. "A determination was made that establishments that provide entertainment of a sexual nature meet this criteria."
FOP Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1 President Michael LaPorte said the union is in the process of filing a grievance over how the decision was handled.
"With any policy changes, (McDonald) has to notify the union," LaPorte said. "She just unilaterally changed policy. The only way we know is because we read it in the paper."
A bureau-wide notice was issued alerting officers that the approved secondary employment status was revoked.
Kamin said he hopes the police who regularly work the detail will show up for the weekend. If McDonald refuses to lift the ban, he said, he likely will ask a judge early next week for an injunction to block implementation of the policy.
"Unless we find out there's a reversal of policy, we will go to court," Kamin said.
Margaret Harding is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Parking tickets in Downtown Pittsburgh spark outrage
- Allegheny County Democrats endorse several incumbents in primary
- Context key to 2nd trial of Pittsburgh police officers in Homewood man’s arrest
- Western Pennsylvania organizations team to find housing for vets
- Postal Service pays $180K for unopened site
- Ailing Downtown August Wilson Center awaits rescue; no real estate offers yet
- Newsmaker: Dr. Yoel Sadovsky
- Photo gallery: Swing for a Cure
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- House fire in Carnegie, no injuries reported
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto set to meet with UPMC chief