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Lodi City Council decides to settle lawsuit with adult-oriented business owner

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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 10:00 pm

The city of Lodi has decided to settle out of court with Timothy Kruppe, the owner of two adult-oriented businesses who filed a lawsuit against the city in January challenging its ordinance.

City Council members gave settlement authority to City Attorney Randy Hays in a closed session Tuesday, Deputy City Clerk Jennifer Perrin said.

Kruppe’s attorney, George Mull, could not be reached for comment, and Kruppe declined to comment without first speaking to his attorney.

Kruppe, the owner of Adult Pleasure World on South Sacramento Street and Intimates Adult Superstore on North Houston Lane, filed the multimillion-dollar lawsuit claiming First Amendment violations for a city ordinance requiring his employees to undergo fingerprinting and background checks.

Although the city is barred from providing settlement figures because negotiations are ongoing, Kruppe’s lawsuit asks for $5 million in damages, including more than $100,000 in attorney fees.

Portions of the city’s ordinance that were challenged would be revised or removed once the suit is settled, Deputy City Attorney Steve Schwabauer said. He declined to elaborate.

Approved in fall 2000, the ordinance requires adult business owners and employees to obtain a special license to operate in Lodi. It also calls for background checks and fingerprinting for anyone receiving an adult-business employee license.

Kruppe wants the city of Lodi to pay attorney fees and damages for employees who were cited in Feb. 2002 for violating the ordinance.

Schwabauer has said the city was already working on changes to the ordinance prior to Mull filing the suit last January.

However, Mull was forced to file the lawsuit to meet the one-year statue of limitation deadline following the citing of Kruppe’s employees the previous February.

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