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Brasher says he is unfamiliar with the Florida situation.
Cooper is the president of K.S. Enterprises, a corporation that owns a club called Baby Dolls in San Antonio, Texas. Paul Morgan, head of the licensing division of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, told New Times that since 1991, Baby Dolls has been fined and has had its license suspended several times--on charges that include public lewdness, serving minors and failure to file timely monthly tax forms.
It is not known exactly when Cooper became an officeholder in K.S. Enterprises; the DLLC investigator alleges that it was in mid to late 1990. Brasher says he does not have the exact date.
DLLC investigator Richard Gilchrist is also recommending that the Arizona liquor board deny the Scottsdale Tiffany's license on the basis that Cooper has a business association with Ralph Lunati, who was convicted of "attempting to procure females to become prostitutes" through public advertisements in Tennessee in the early Eighties. Lunati served prison time for this charge. He also was fined $50 for engaging in prostitution.
Lunati's name appears in numerous court records as Cooper's business associate, particularly in Tennessee. Most recently, the two signatures appear together on a document dated April 1993--a purchase offer on the Windmill Dinner Theatre, the building where Tiffany's Cabaret of Scottsdale is located.
The Arizona liquor board is to rule on the Scottsdale club's license October 4. But even if the board votes to deny the license, there's still the matter of Tiffany's Cabaret in Phoenix. As part of his application for the Phoenix liquor license, Cooper signed a questionnaire on October 15, 1990, stating that he had never had an application for a liquor license rejected or denied. He also answered no to the question about suspensions, fines and revocations.
Lieutenant David Gonzales, a regional head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety's organized-crime division, says his department was aware of problems with Tiffany's in 1990, but that the license wasn't protested. "I think that one kind of slipped through the cracks," he says. Gonzales adds that under Arizona law, the Phoenix Tiffany's liquor license could be revoked if it can be demonstrated that Cooper lied on that application.
Ironically, according to DLLC records, the Phoenix Tiffany's has received just two warnings from the department since it opened its doors. One was for allowing a minor inside without a parent, guardian or spouse. The other was for assorted sexual activities reported by undercover liquor investigators.
Gonzales says that his department is looking into allegations of links between organized crime and Cooper and his associates.
Along with Tiffany's and Ziegfield's--another upscale nightclub featuring "adult entertainment," which was denied a liquor license on the basis of location last March (Ziegfield's Folly," August 11)--there are three or four other companies considering locating upscale topless bars in Arizona, Gonzales says.
It's a business that's booming nationwide, he adds. "You can't lose financially in the upscale-topless-bar business right now," he says.