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Hof says yanking brothel license is political payback

Updated February 26, 2018 - 7:53 pm

A day after Nye County officials yanked the Love Ranch’s brothel license right off the wall, owner Dennis Hof vowed he would get it back within days.

“What you’ve got here is the worst corruption,” Hof said in a phone interview Monday. “It’s just lie after lie. But they’re going to give my license back by 5 p.m. today.”

By the end of the day Monday, Hof’s license remained suspended. He needs approval from the Nye County Board of Commissioners to get it back.

The dispute stems from a claim that Hof failed to obtain permission before modifying several mobile homes on the site of the Crystal brothel. The county planning department last week said Hof made alterations that were not permitted or approved.

The State Manufactured Housing Division must approve changes to manufactured homes. Because the homes did not have that approval, commissioners said, the area was deemed unsafe and the Nye County Liquor and Licensing Board — made up of county commissioners and the sheriff — voted unanimously last week to suspend Hof’s license. Three members recused themselves.

Hof said authorities stormed his brothel 2:30 a.m. Sunday to physically pull his license off the wall.

“You’ve got 30 employees out of work and they’re crying their eyes out,” Hof said, describing the raid.

Hof says the accusations are bogus and politically charged because he’s running against Assemblyman James Oscarson.

“It’s political retribution because I had the nerve to challenge the establishment,” Hof said. “They’re out of hand. It’s the same stuff they’re doing to Donald Trump. They’re using government power to put me out of business and discredit me.”

Hof also claims he did not make any changes to the mobile homes.

Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig said he inspected the mobile homes Friday. He said Hof needed to obtain a sticker to show the mobile homes received approval — which he did not have.

“The manufactured homes are an engineered product,” Koenig said. “Anytime you do anything to them, it has to be done with an engineer’s approval. They have to know what you’re doing to ensure it’s safe.”

County officials allowed Hof to continue operating a restaurant and bar on the property.

Three members of the Nye County Liquor and Licensing Board — commissioners Dan Schinhofen and Butch Borasky as well as Sheriff Sharon Wehrly — recused themselves from last week’s vote to suspend the license due to lawsuits Hof has filed against each of them.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter. Reporter Robin Hebrock contributed to this report.

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