David Burgess, the owner of the Old Bridge Ranch brothel in Northern Storey County who was convicted last summer for possession and transporting of child pornography, has 12 months to appeal his case and possibly save his brothel and liquor licenses.
The Storey County Brothel Licensing Board, which consists of the three county commissioners and the sheriff, voted to permanently revoke both the brothel and liquor licenses, but stayed the revocation for up to 12 months so that Burgess would be able to appeal his conviction or sell his property.
The board suspended the licenses following the conviction, and continued the suspension pending sentencing.
Burgess was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on July 18.
Mark Picker, Burgess' attorney, asked the board to continue the suspension because Burgess was appealing the conviction, and it would make it easier for him to sell the property.
"There exists no cause for revocation of license," he said, adding that the law provided for revocation only after conviction was upheld by the district court, and this was still on appeal.
The brothel is not operating, and hasn't operated since the suspension, Picker said.
"You've already suspended these licenses," he said. "Any further action, should David Burgess be successful in appeal, the board would have to revisit the issue anyway."
Mark Gunderson, attorney for the board suggested the revocation with the stay.
No other brothel application could be considered for that property during the 12-month stay, Gunderson said, unless Burgess voluntarily surrendered his license.
Storey County Manager Pat Whitten said a brothel license was site-specific, and licenses are not transferable, so that any sale of the business would have to include surrendering of the licenses.
Picker asked the commissioner if where the Old Bridge Ranch is located will be rezoned to disallow brothel activity, but Commission Chairman Greg "Bum" Hess said that has not come before the commission, and would have to go before the Storey County Planning Commission first.
"That's not on any agenda I've seen," Hess said.
Picker said that was important because of Burgess' hopes to sell the property, and rezoning would make that difficult.
- Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 881-7351.