The City of Lauderhill has retained the services of an infamous attorney with an anti-LGBT record to litigate its case against an adult entertainment club in the city.
According to a public records request obtained by SFGN, the city has paid $81,788 to the Law Office of Scott D. Bergthold since 2016.
The attorney, Bergthold, is renowned for using his law office as a vehicle to target, sue, and try to shut down adult entertainment establishments across the country.
The 23-year-old Lauderhill club he has been hired to go after is Vegas Cabaret, located at 5428 N University Drive. It has been a nightclub for many years.
“We believe the city’s code is unconstitutional. Their definitions and application toward our clients are unconstitutional,” said Danny Aaronson, the attorney representing Vegas. “We believe any clothing that a female wears today under the ordinance would be considered partially nude. The only way to comply with it is basically to wear a burqa.”
The City of Atlanta also recently hired Bergthold to go after one of their clubs, Tokyo Valentino Erotique. But after Bergthold’s anti-LGBT record came to light, their City Commission fired him.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution also uncovered Bergthold’s past professional practices. They wrote that “Bergthold, a 1997 grad of evangelist Pat Robertson’s Regent University School of Law, has worked for years in conjunction with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the de facto legal squad for the religious right.”
According to Project Q, ADF gave more than $213,000 in grants to Bergthold’s law office between 2010 and 2016. The media outlet also reported Bergthold’s many donations supporting measures to ban same-sex marriage in California.
Project Q revealed that Bergthold, whose law practice is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, had supported city ordinances banning transgender people from using bathrooms associated with their gender.
According to Project Q, Bergthold also once claimed that AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases are the results of "America's moral decay.”
"If this guy was an Aryan leader, we'd be having a totally different conversation," the Observer reported council member Mark Clayton saying. “But because he doesn't like gay people, we are where we are."
SFGN left a voicemail for Lauderhill’s city manager and emailed the city’s mayor. Neither acknowledged SFGN’s messages by publication time.