LINCOLN — The mayor of Waverly, Nebraska, is apologizing to an Omaha state senator for a profane message posted on a sign in his town by a local strip club.
Mayor Michael Werner of Waverly told State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau in an email Friday that he has asked the owner of the Shakers Gentleman’s Club to remove the message immediately.
The sign reads: “Senator Thibodeau is full of sh*t.”
The message is an apparent reference to Thibodeau’s sponsorship of a bill that would make bottle clubs, like Shakers, obtain the same liquor licenses as regular bars.
Bottle clubs do not sell alcohol, but allow paying members to bring their own “bottle” of liquor. Thibodeau, along with the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, has said the lack of regulation is a dangerous situation that could allow minors to drink and patrons to be overserved.
The bill is mainly aimed at Omaha adult entertainment businessman Shane Harrington, who has opened bottle clubs across the state that allow totally nude dancing; one is near 72nd and Dodge Streets in Omaha.
The back of the Waverly sign also had a message for Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, who spoke in favor of Thibodeau’s bill last week. “See you in court” was the message, an apparent reference to Harrington’s threats to file a lawsuit if the state tries to regulate bottle clubs.
Werner, the Waverly mayor, said he has filed a complaint with the Liquor Control Commission and forwarded his concerns to the city’s attorney. He has also contacted the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
An attempt to bring Thibodeau’s bill up for debate failed last week in the State Legislature.
The senator said Saturday that she would not be “threatened” by the sign and was seeking “creative” ways her bill could be considered in the last couple weeks of the 2018 session.
She said that bottle clubs like Shakers and Harrington’s invite sex trafficking.
“The Legislature needs to act,” she said.
Shakers owner Dan Robinson could not be reached Saturday night, but a person who answered the phone at Shakers said that sex trafficking does not occur at the club. Harrington has said the same of his clubs.