Archive for Wednesday, March 28, 2001

County still investigating possible Whispers’ violations

March 28, 2001

An investigation into whether Whispers Cabaret an adult entertainment business has violated state and county decency laws should be completed by Friday, according to Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department investigators.

Investigators have been interviewing club employees, including dancers and waitresses. The sheriff's department is looking into the club's activity to determine if Whispers violates a county resolution prohibiting topless dancing. The club opened in late February adjacent to Ma Belle's bar and grill on Kansas Highway Kansas 7.

"We will probably be done by Friday," Sgt. John Schermbeck said. "We would then turn the case over to the county attorney's office."

Schermbeck said he could not comment on the details of the investigation, but he said the department had not yet interviewed club owners Wayne or Vicki Eldridge.

Controversy over the new club started when The Basehor Sentinel published a story alleging that Whispers Cabaret had been operating as a topless nightclub.

The story prompted Leavenworth County District Attorney Frank Kohl to start an investigation into the club's activity. On March 8, two plain-clothes Brown County sheriff's deputies went into Whispers to confirm reports of topless dancing and other activity, Schermbeck said.

In their investigation, the Brown County deputies viewed lap dances, as well as topless dancing, Kohl said.

Based on the information provided by the deputies, Kohl obtained a warrant to search the club. During the search, sheriff's deputies seized the club's business and employee records. Copies of those records have since been returned.

Investigators have not released any details on the content of those records.

Wayne Eldridge has denied the allegations, saying that Whispers' dancers are not performing topless and that the club operates within the law.

Basehor resident, Cindy Bartko, sees things differently. She has started a letter-writing campaign to have Whispers closed down.

"I have had several people call me and said they would help," she said.

The letter states that Whispers is not the type of club residents want in their community, and Bartko is asking people to sign the letter, which is addressed to Kohl, and send it to Kohl's office.

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