Strip club owner contributed to Benny Napoleon's campaign funds - KMSP-TV

Strip club owner contributed to Benny Napoleon's campaign funds

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Business man. Scumbag. Entrepreneur. Exploiter. Alan Markovitz has been called a lot of things over the years, and now the strip club impresario has a new handle: friend of Benny.

That's Benny as in Benny Napoleon. Napoleon is not just Wayne County Sheriff, he's running to be mayor of Detroit.

Markovitz donated $3400 dollars to Napoleon's mayoral campaign. That's the most allowed by law, and Napoleon says he's glad to have it.

"Alan Markovitz is a long-time friend. He runs a business that is legal. I don't frequent his business. I don't think that I have been in one of his establishments in 30 years, but he called me up and said he wanted to help. He wanted to send a check to me, he's in a legitimate business. I'm ok with it." said Napoleon.

Fox 2 later learned Napoleon wrote to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) in 1996 while he was Executive Deputy Chief of the Detroit Police Department. He told state officials the cops screwed up when they wrote 32 tickets at Trump's (Markovitz's club on 8 Mile). Napoleon asked the State to disregard the tickets.

Napoleon says he was instructed to write the letter by one of his superiors.

But Winfred Blackmon says there's no place in politics for money from strip club owners. Blackmon is president of the Schaefer 7-8 Lodge Neighborhood Association. He's been hearing complaints about one of the Markovitz's clubs for years.

"The gunfire, the prostitution in the cars, no respect for the neighborhood. You have children walking back and forth to the store. They have to endure this type of activity from people who don't care," Blackmon said.

Now Markovitz's company is suing the city over the way it regulates its adult entertainment. They say the fees are unfair, so the city commissioned a study. It shows that topless clubs cost the city a quarter million more than it collects in licence and permit fees.

When asked if there was anyone Napoleon would turn down a campaign contribution from, he replied, "Sure. I mean certainly if someone was convicted of a crime, I don't want their money. But people are business people, let's call it like it is. There are some very influential people who've gotten in trouble. If Martha Stewart wrote me a check, I might take it. But if Attila the Hun wrote me a check, I probably wouldn't."

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