DORAVILLE, Ga. — For nearly a decade, the Oasis Goodtime Emporium has been involved in legal battles with the city of Doraville.
City leaders say the owners are running the business illegally because of a city ordinance that prohibits sexually oriented businesses from selling alcohol.
More than 150 employees from the popular strip club made their presence known at Monday night’s city council meeting, using the public comment portion of the meeting to share how the business has benefitted them over the years.
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“We are a family, and they’ve done nothing but good, and they treat everyone with respect,” said Jennifer Long, who has been serving at Oasis Goodtime Emporium for over 21 years.
Hailey, a 22-year-old dancer at the club, addressed the mayor and city council during the meeting. Afterwards, she told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that working at Oasis has allowed her to graduate from college debt-free.
“I’m a [political science] graduate from Kennesaw [State University] summa cum laude, and right now I’m applying to law school and I’m studying to take the LSAT,” she said.
Long also got emotional as she told Seiden that Oasis was there for her when her son was diagnosed with cancer.
“Oasis stepped in and told me I could take off whatever time I needed. They would cover everything, they did a huge fundraiser for my son,” she said.
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City leaders, however, say that while some of the stories were moving, they have to enforce the law.
“It’s important for cities to enforce their laws,” Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman. “They’re operating completely illegally.”
Oasis General Manager Jeff Horwitz says the business that employs 600 people has never had a problem until the annexation of their property in 2013.
“We own the land and the building. We’ve never had a violation,” he said. “They’re going to put all these people out of work and not all of us can just go get another job.”
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Despite the emotional pleas, the council did not take any action.
Mayor Geierman says the city will continue to fight what has become the city’s longest running legal battle.
“I feel that businesses in the city of Doraville should follow the law of the city, and I support any action we take,” the mayor said.
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