After months of battling city and county officials, notorious Galleria-area strip club Treasures has settled at least half of its legal issues by agreeing to put $100,000 in a "nuisance abatement" fund with the City of Houston.
The Harris County Attorneys Office and the city's legal department filed a joint lawsuit against the gentlemen's club in May, hoping to permanently shutter the business with a claim that it is a public nuisance to area residents as a haven for drug-running and human-trafficking.
City attorney David Feldman sa id that the city and the club "have committed to work together" to combat any illegal activity at Treasures — most notably, human trafficking.
Lawyers for Treasures have denied the allegations from the beginning, stating that the number of reported police incidents (40 in the last four years) is relatively average for a club of this size.
City attorney David Feldman told the Houston Chronicle on Monday that he was satisfied with the new agreement, adding that it "puts procedures, verification and a fund in place that provide an opportunity for abatement [of the nuisance issues] in the short and the long term, which goes beyond what litigation might achieve."
Feldman said that the city and the club "have committed to work together" to combat any illegal activity at Treasures — most notably, human trafficking.
The new partnership comes after a legal scuffle this fall regarding a judge-ordered injunction that allowed the club to remain open if it followed a list of provisions that included a dress-code standard, mandatory check-in and bag searches, employee background checks and security cameras.
In October, roughly once month after the injunction was filed, the Texas Supreme Court overruled a number of the requirements, permitting Treasures to bypass background examinations, drug tests and cameras.
Feldman somewhat curiously explained that the terms of the new settlement between the city and club will be kept quiet, much to the chagrin of the Harris County Attorney's Office, which claims it never received a copy of the agreement.
"The idea that this agreement would remain secret is preposterous," assistant county attorney Terry O'Rourke told the Chronicle, noting that the settlement with the city will not weaken Harris County's portion of the lawsuit.
As of Tuesday, the county attorneys office told CultureMap it would provide no further commentary on the case. City attorney David Feldman was unable to be reached for comment.