Judge issues order to shut down Florence nightclub

Florence, SC - FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A nightclub described as a "public nuisance" by law enforcement officials in Florence County has been ordered to shut down permanently by a South Carolina Circuit Court judge.

Twelfth Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements and Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone were granted a judgment Tuesday to close down KT's Lounge, a nightclub located along Ed James Road in Effingham. Authorities say the order was based on a list of 30 criminal incidents occurring at KT's Lounge, including numerous assaults, gambling, armed robberies and drug deals.

Boone says the nightclub is expected to be razed in 30 days. The club's owner has also been ordered to remove a mobile home off of the property within the same time period.

"For some time, we have been receiving complaints and concerns from good people in this area about the violent and criminal activity at KT's Lounge," Boone said in a prepared statement. "We were able to use the civil law to bring some welcomed relief to the community."

The court order, according to officials, also incorporates a settlement agreement reached by attorneys with both parties that allows the land owners to retain the title and use of the property. The property is ordered to be used for no other illegal activities, or another action for seizure can be refiled.

A previous temporary injunction was issued in favor of Clements and Boone that prohibited the owners of KT's Lounge to operate the business.

"Hopefully, this will send a message to other nuisances and drug dealers that we will use every legal tool available to reduce violence in our communities," Boone said.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.