Allegations dismissed involving Nye brothel

The alleged medical and license violations at one of Dennis Hof’s brothels have been dismissed as he was given a signage violation.

The notice of violation, which was the subject of an early Wednesday show cause hearing, had been issued after the Nye County Sheriff’s Office had conducted an inspection at the Area 51 Death Valley Cat House on Feb. 11.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office records previously showed that the brothel had paid for up to and including five employees during the first quarter and had four employees permitted, but had six employees who had current medical clearances and were on the floor working.

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said while there were six work permits, two of them hadn’t been entered into the system at the time of the inspection said.

“Upon further review of the facts of circumstances, I believe it would be appropriate to amend the notice of violation to state only one violation for failure to comply with a signage requirement,” Wehrly told Nye County commissioners.

Wehrly also said there was a “training issue,” as the deputy who conducted the check at Hof’s brothel also had never done it before.

All permits have been entered into the system since then and the employees have medical clearances, Wehrly said.

“Everything matched,” she said. “The only glitch was that there were six girls there, he had paid for five, but the sixth girl was leaving,” she said.

“I wouldn’t say it was our mistake because there was no real procedure of the time frame they had to get those cards in. We’ve just realigned everything, so now we actually have a process. This has cost us quite a bit. We didn’t realize that there were no true guidelines on how quickly we needed to process the whole thing,” she said.

Nye County’s brothel ordinance is currently being rewritten, and Wehrly said her office was trying to make sure it captured everything, including basic requirements for getting a license.

During that process, Wehrly said officials had found that they hadn’t captured everything, so officials started looking at the records and what they had on the sheet “didn’t quite jive.”

“The records that we had in the office and the records that we captured on the sheet were incomplete,” she said, though she couldn’t tell how they were incomplete.

Wehrly said she had done brothel checks “once or twice” since taking over the office in January 2015.

Hof’s lawyer

Hof didn’t attend the Wednesday hearing, but he previously rebutted the allegations made by Nye County against his business.

Marc Risman, Hof’s attorney, who spoke on behalf of his client at the hearing, said that there were several writeups in the report, and Hof refuted all of them but one that had to do with the sign.

“What the sheriff said about their reasons for amending it, we believe to be absolutely accurate, and this was best and wisest course of action,” Risman said.

The sign was placed within 24 hours, and the brothel is currently in compliance, Risman said.

If Hof is found in violation of the Nye County prostitution ordinance within the next six months, he will have to pay a $500 fine in addition to paying anything on the next violation.

As the ordinance is being amended, officials are going to do inspections quarterly and also conduct “random checks in between,” Wehrly said.

“We already made amendments within the office, so that this won’t happen again so that records will go into the system and won’t be sitting on somebody’s desk,” Wehrly said.

“As we go along with the saga of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office not having policies and procedures that actually cover every aspect of every job, we are slowly getting them written,” Wehrly said.