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August 18, 2018

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Dennis Hof stripped of license for brothel near Pahrump

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Steve Marcus

Dennis Hof smiles during an interview at his Love Ranch legal brothel in Crystal, Nev., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Hof won the Republican primary election for Nevada State Assembly District 36.

The Nye County Commission voted Tuesday to pull the brothel and liquor licenses for Dennis Hof’s Love Ranch South brothel near Pahrump because he failed to apply for renewals on time.

The commission voted to reject the annual license renewals, resulting in the closure of the brothel.

“It’s revenge,” Hof said, blaming the action on lawsuits he filed against the county and political disputes.

Hof, who won the Republican primary for Assembly District 36, said he plans to seek a court injunction allowing him to reopen the brothel.

Commission Chairwoman Lorinda Wichman said brothel owners must submit renewal forms 30 days before licenses expire, but Hof was late. Hof said that’s because the Sheriff’s Office sent him the forms late.

Wichman, however, said the forms are mailed only as a courtesy, and it’s up to brothel owners to obtain them and make sure they are filed on time.

“There is no option in my mind and no way I can give a vote to renewing a license, especially when it should have resulted in an automatic revocation when the application was not received 30 days prior to the expiration date,” Wichman said at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Wichman directed the sheriff to retrieve the brothel’s licenses.

The brothel staff was initially uncooperative when authorities informed them they intended to confiscate the licenses, county officials said.

“The executive manager for Dennis Hof contacted the sheriff and indicated that they would not allow the Nye County sheriff’s deputies on the premises,” Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said.

But when deputies, armed with a court-issued warrant, showed up, brothel personnel surrendered the licenses without incident, she said.

Hof can petition the county again for both licenses.

“He can reapply, but I’m not sure how much success he’ll have,” Wichman said.