"There was no court order, it was simply a business decision," Cornetta told XBIZ. "it stemmed from the losses and how the losses occurred. I lost $600-$700,000 in actual cash in that business and $1-$1.2 million in lost potential income, which has been verified by two forensic accountants."
After Cornetta was found in contempt of court in March for operating the store in a decision he characterized as "positive," the store responded to the city's denial of a business license in April with an ante litem notice, requesting compensation for lost profits and offering to settle for a payment of $668,000 and the issuance of a sign and banner permit.
The Love Shack was opened a few days before the city was officially established on Dec. 1, 2006, giving Cornetta the argument that the store was in existence before the city and was grandfathered in.
According to Cornetta, the city’s unwillingness to give him a sign permit ran him out of business. The city has said it won’t give a sign permit or a business license for an adult business in an area not zoned for adult businesses.
"For two years we sat there without a sign," Cornetta said. "We had a little 'Open' sign in the window. We had a little banner up and we got 43 misdemeanor charges. Every day they stopped and gave us another misdemeanor charge. We're still waiting to go to court on those charges."
Cornetta said the city gave signs to other businesses that didn’t have business licenses, telling reporters, “If the judge finds that they illegally caused a business to fail, they’re facing huge fines."
Both Cornetta and the city have cases pending in federal and state appeals courts.
Cornetta told XBIZ that he will be opening another store in Atlanta in two weeks.