By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
Yet despite sharing common mound, it is easy to discern one from the other in a tangle over aesthetics at Miami Beach's Club Madonna. Clearly club owner Leroy Griffith enjoys a good spectacle. In a perfect world, that would include both naked chicks and free-flowing booze. But where that's not possible, the old rascal will settle for putting a city commissioner's do-gooder spouse through the legal titty-twister.
Hence, when Jane Gross, wife of Saul, led a group of residents in the defeat of a proposal to rewrite city codes banning the combo of full nudity and alcohol at Club Madonna, Griffith slapped her with a lawsuit. In his complaint, he is demanding a jury trial and monetary damages, alleging Jane Gross slandered and libeled him during her campaign.
"I have been trying to get a liquor license here three or four years," Griffith grumbles. "[Mayor David] Dermerwas for us all the way through. Then Mrs. Gross started going out spreading rumors. He backed out."
Mrs. Gross, though, gets rhetorical points for such bons mots as: "I don't know what kind of tour Leroy gave you guys, but the Website virtual tour is kind of like a gynecological/rectal exam," which the suit quotes her as saying at a public meeting, further alleging she called Griffith a "litigious, tax-evading citizen" and his club a contributing factor in area prostitution arrests.
Griffith, a delicate flower of a strip club mogul, will not suffer his reputation to be tarnished. He thinks Saul Gross orchestrated or at least inspired his wife's efforts. "Somebody said he was going to run for mayor," Griffith offers. "Maybe this was to generate publicity."
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office will not file charges against former North Bay Village Police Chief Irving Heller, who resigned earlier this year. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement was investigating Heller as a result of allegations the former police chief authored obscene letters that were sent anonymously to local civic activist Fane Lozman.
According to the FDLE's investigative report, Special Agent Ed Fortune found sufficient evidence to show that Heller authored the letters, one of which depicted a character identified as Lozman performing fellatio on another man. Fortune could not establish, however, that Heller had committed a crime against Lozman. Fortune states the letters were also sent to federal agencies for review. "Both the F.B.I. and the U.S. Postal Inspector who also indicated the contents of the letter, while vulgar and cruel, did not constitute a criminal act," Fortune wrote.