The owner of Charlotte's, a private club in the White Marsh area that features nude dancing, has been charged with violating a new law that bans alcoholic beverages at nude dancing clubs.
Charlotte E. Walter, 70, who operates the club in the 10000 block of Pulaski Highway, was issued a summons yesterday charging her with having beer and whiskey on the premises early Sunday morning. She must appear for trial July 9 in Essex District Court, said Baltimore County police spokesman E. Jay Miller. If convicted, Walter would face a maximum penalty of $5,000.
State lawmakers actually fashioned the new law with another Baltimore County nude dancing club in mind, Body Talk, which has angered neighbors since it opened in Rockdale a year ago. County officials were stymied in attempts to close the club. With its patrons allowed to bring their own alcohol, Body Talk was not subject to the scrutiny of the Liquor Board.
The new law, which bans alcohol inside those establishments, took effect Friday as an emergency measure when Gov. William Donald Schaefer signed it.
Officers went to Charlotte's about 1 a.m. Saturday to give Walter a copy of the new law, Miller said. "She said she understood the law," he said.
Then, early Sunday morning, a man complained to police that drinking, as well as nude dancing, was going on inside Charlotte's.
Officer James Holthaus of the Essex precinct went there and observed cans of beer and bottles of whiskey outside, Miller said.
Holthaus then went inside and found beer bottles and cans of beer, as well as bottles of whiskey, on and behind the bar in coolers, according to a police report.
Walter, according to the report, then told Holthaus she had misunderstood the new law.
Contacted at her establishment last night, Walter said, "Can you call back later. I'm talking to my attorney" then promptly hung up.