The Nye County sheriff said Wednesday that her department flubbed a report, which led to a wrongful accusation that Nevada’s most famous brothel owner had violated several county codes.
A February inspection by the sheriff’s office originally stated that half of the 12 prostitutes working at Dennis Hof’s Area 51 Death Valley Cathouse in Amargosa Valley had expired work permits and medical clearances, in violation of county codes governing legal prostitution.
The report also showed the business violated code by not having a “condoms are mandatory” sign in one of the rooms.
Sheriff Sharon Wehrly asked fellow members of the Nye County liquor and licensing board Wednesday morning to void the original charged violations but add the signage infraction. The amendment was passed unanimously without discussion by the members who were present. Hof will face a $500 fine if found in violation of any codes for the next six months, the board said.
Wehrly said the deputy who took the report incorrectly wrote that there were 12 prostitutes working. Instead, Wehrly said, the deputy examined 12 work permits, six of which were expired. But valid permits covered the six women in the establishment at the time, one of whom was not working, she said.
Hof said Tuesday that while he employs no more than five prostitutes at the brothel at a time, he often cycles many more through shifts to keep up with scheduling needs.
Contact Blake Apgar at email@example.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.
Nye County’s prostitution codes
Prostitution is legal in Nye County. Prostitutes are required to renew their working permits every quarter and be tested by a medical professional at least once a week.
Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said her department is not required to perform regular brothel inspections. The county is looking to update its ordinances to require quarterly compliance checks, she said.