Blush sues to allow off-duty officers to provide security at strip clubs

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Owners of the Downtown strip club Blush today asked a federal judge to temporarily overturn a Pittsburgh Bureau of Police order barring off-duty officers from working security details at such venues.

Last month, Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald barred officers from moonlighting at strip clubs. Off-duty officers have long provided security at bars and sports venues under a program managed and billed by the city since 2007.

One Three Five Inc., which owns Blush, sued in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, saying its free speech and equal protection rights were violated by the ban. The city had the case moved to U.S. District Court, where it is assigned to Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In the motion for a temporary restraining order, Blush's lawyers wrote that the ban "will result in [Blush's] inability to sufficiently provide protection for the peace of mind of its customers."

If the judge grants the request, the city would let officers return to the clubs while the litigation continued.

Judge Fischer ordered the city to respond within a week.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord


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