Deputy City Attorney Michael Klekner, who handles constitutional issues, said his office believes the ordinance is sound. “Physical contact, in and of itself, isn’t governed by the First Amendment,” he said. Detective Benjamin Jones said inspections of strip clubs have indicated that lap dancing is related to prostitution, drug dealing and other crimes. While he said there is no direct evidence proving a link, he related anecdotes such as officers finding used condoms in and around clubs. “There may not be empirical data available but you’re eliminating the opportunity for crimes like narcotics, prostitution and workplace violence with this ordinance,” said Commissioner Anthony Pacheco. Weston, the lawyer representing numerous adult venues, countered that the city should focus on the “miscreants” who violate prostitution and drug laws rather than allocating scarce police resources enforcing a ban on lap dancing. Contending that the adult entertainment industry was not consulted in the drafting of the new law, Weston said he believes it cannot take effect without going to voters because of the petition drive in 2003. Klekner said that question is under review. The measure now heads to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for consideration. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles moved closer to outlawing lap dances as the Police Commission voted Tuesday to endorse a city ordinance that would keep strippers and their customers at least six feet apart. Before unanimously approving the measure, the commissioners said they thought the ordinance would do a good job of resolving concerns that ultimately scaled back a similar city effort two years ago. “I think this is narrowly crafted and very clear-cut,” said John Mack, president of the commission. “It is not overreaching.” The City Council drew national attention in 2003 when it moved to impose similar restrictions on the industry, including banning private rooms and stepping up permitting and security rules. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week But the council eventually backed away from a “no-touch” provision after the adult industry gathered signatures for a public vote. Van Nuys-area Councilman Tony Cardenas revived the issue this year after a federal appeals court upheld a “no-touch” law in La Habra. The Los Angeles ordinance endorsed by the commission would keep dancers and patrons at least six feet apart, prohibit direct tipping, and restrict performances to raised stages surrounded by railings at least 2 feet high. A statement from Cardenas’ office said the proposal would be the “strictest strip-club regulation in the country.” A lawyer representing adult-entertainment venues said, however, that the measure raises the possibility of renewed legal battles and ballot measures of the sort that made the City Council reconsider the first time. “I think all options are very much on the table,” said attorney John H. Weston.