Appeal meeting held at City Hall for man who was denied business - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Appeal meeting held at City Hall for man who was denied business license

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A special city council meeting went off the rails Friday after the new owner of Club Heat on Yaupon Dr. was denied a business license and sought to appeal the court's decision.

Clayton Smith was denied a business license back in October after the club in question was deemed a nuisance by the city due to past criminal activity. He appealed the decision at an appeal hearing, and the meeting was anything but smooth.

The meeting began later than scheduled, after a power outage cut electricity to city hall. After that, a law firm representing the license administrator called ten witnesses to give testimony about the decision to deny Smith his business license. The witnesses included several Myrtle Beach Police officers, investigators, and residents that live near the club - all talking about the issues that the club caused in the area.

Smith represented himself, and seemed flustered at times, cross-examining every witness, and getting visibly frustrated with certain testimony. Several documents were added to evidence, including rap sheets on crimes committed near the club, and dates in which the ownership of the club was in question.

Smith stated that he was unaware that his license would be revoked and unintentionally operated his business without a license. A police cam video was shown to the council, showing Smith and Vladimir Handl at the club, talking to police about operating without a license. Smith maintained he was not in business with Handl, and was aware of criminal activity in the club, but planned to make necessary changes under his ownership.

In his final testimony, he pleaded with the council to judge him on his own merits, and give him a fair shot. "I have no dealings with this crap. I don't know anything about that crap. I'm not a drug dealer. Never have been, never will be. Give me an opportunity to fulfill my dream." said Smith.

City Council Spokesman Mark Kruea who says the council will deliberate on the appeal, and a decision will be made on December 8th at the earliest.

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