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Chicken Ranch Operator Says County Wants to Get Rid of Brothels

Chicken Ranch Operator Says County Wants to Get Rid of Brothels
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Jun 29, 2009 3:00 PM PDT    Text size: 
PAHRUMP, Nev. — The owner of the Chicken Ranch claims that he's trying to sell the brothel, but Nye County officials won't let him because they are trying to rid the county of its legal brothels by "attrition."

It's the second such federal suit this year over the fate of the 17-bed Chicken Ranch.

Chicken Ranch President Kenneth Green, in the suit filed at U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, points to several incidences where Nye County Board of Commissioners overstepped their authority overseeing the county's legal brothel system.

Green said that after Bruce Kahn made a deposit to buy the Chicken Ranch in 2006, he was able to walk away because the board denied Kahn's application to run the brothel because he was not a resident of Nevada six months prior to the application.

Kahn, who lives in Texas, filed a similar lawsuit seeking injunctive relief and damages in federal court in March.

Green also accused Nye County officials of refusing to allow the transfer of the license to Debbie Rivenburgh, who oversees the brothel's daily operations, because she "did not have enough personal funds to operate the Chicken Ranch on her own" despite guaranteed financial backing.

"[G]overnment officials have virtual unfettered discretion in all licensing matters concerning legal brothels and are using such assumed unfettered discretion to attempt to rid the county of its legal brothels by attrition," the complaint reads.

Green is seeking declaratory judgment, an injunction permitting the sale and punitive damages.

Green's attorney, Allen Lichtenstein, did not return XBIZ messages for comment.

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