Port Richey, Florida - 10 Connects has obtained 220 pictures taken inside Club Elite at 9721 U.S. Highway 19. The swingers club opened in Port Richey back in 2007.
From the very beginning, neighbors protested it and even circulated a petition to try to get rid of it. While the Pasco County Sheriff's Office got dozens of complaints, the Sheriff's Office maintained that a swingers club isn't necessarily illegal.
PHOTO GALLERY: Club Elite
Kevin Doll, a spokesperson for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, says, "It's not necessarily illegal. However, we believe that the location where this club is is in violation of zoning laws. We believe it's an adult-oriented business, thus it should be in our industrial zone in the county and right now it's in a commercial district."
The sheriff's office sent in four undercover officers over a period of six months to check out the club. Doll adds, "A number of officers, both male and female, did go into the club numerous times and they did observe sex acts."
In an explicit 15-page report, undercover detectives outline what they saw inside the club. They talked with a patron about "one big orgy" that allegedly happened in December that involved about 280 people. They talk about a female dressed only in "black thong underwear." The detective says there was a man striking the woman with a leather whip who "appeared to be enjoying the activity she was involved in."
On another occasion, a detective describes seeing "a male lying on his back and a female lying on top of him facing the other direction." During one visit, a detective paid $100 for a membership to the club, plus $70 for admission as a single male.
The detectives also talk about rooms where they were able to watch couples having sex. Detectives say they didn't see any drug use or find any violations of the liquor law.
Pasco County officials filed a lawsuit against Club Elite regarding zoning issues. Angela and Eric Kubb, WJ Investments and S & G Investments are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Attorney, Luke Lirot is representing Club Elite. He says it all comes down to definition. He claims the club is not an adult entertainment business as it's defined in the ordinance.
Lirot says, "A lot of people don't like the idea. They don't like the concept - the sexual nature of whatever may be going on there is problematic to a lot of folks. But unless they have some tangible evidence that it increases crime or there's some tangible impact on property values then, from a zoning standpoint, this business has no problems whatsoever."
Don Beatty is the president of the West Port Homeowners Association. The neighborhood is located directly behind the club. He say's the association's security patrol has been watching Club Elite's parking lot and they haven't noticed any problems spilling out of the club. "It's been contained inside the club and it hasn't become that big a deal."
Lirot, meanwhile, has filed a countersuit. He says to apply the adult use ordinance to his client's business is unconstitutional. "These people have a right of association. They can get together. They can talk about swinging. They can promote their [customers] lifestyles and beliefs."
A judge is expected to make a decision on the lawsuit sometime this summer.
Tammie Fields, 10 Connects