Nevada Brothel Owner's License Suspension Upheld

Northern Nevada brothel owner David Burgess, who was convicted by a federal jury in Wyoming for possessing and transporting child pornography, has failed in an effort to win his license back.

A panel comprised of Storey County's three commissioners and sheriff voted Friday to uphold the suspension of Burgess' brothel, liquor and escort licenses for the Old Bridge Ranch just east of Reno.

The action leaves his estranged wife, Ingrid Burgess, who has run the business, out of work, the Nevada Appeal reported.

The same panel suspended Burgess' brothel license on May 9, three weeks after he was convicted of the child pornography charges. Sheriff Jim Miller then suspended Burgess' liquor and escort licenses.

The 55-year-old Burgess faces from five to 30 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine when he's sentenced July 7.

At a contentious public hearing Friday, Burgess lawyer Marc Picker accused the county of unfairness for providing 200 pages of documents only one minute before the hearing began.

Picker noted that a judge had not certified the guilty verdict, and under federal law, a conviction doesn't exist until that point.

He also accused commission Chairman Greg "Bum" Hess, Commissioner Bob Kershaw and county special counsel Mark Gunderson of having conflicts of interest.

Picker said Hess has business ties to Burgess' chief competito
in the brothel business, Lance Gilman, owner of the Wild Horse and Mustang II brothels, also located east of Reno.

Kershaw's son worked for Gilman and Gunderson had represented Gilman in a previous case involving Burgess, he said.

Picker, who has filed writs in district court, plans to ask a judge to overturn the board's decision.

"Given the plethora of misstatements, misleading allegations and unproven allegations within the complaint ... we believe we have proven and shown cause that not only should this license not be revoked, but the suspension should be lifted," he said.

Gunderson said the hearing was about Burgess and his actions, not anyone's involvement with Gilman. All documents were part of the previous record and Picker had access to it, he added.

"It's unfortunate that this commission as well as its counsel has to suffer through scurrilous and unfounded allegations against your integrity and mine," Gunderson said.

Gunderson said Burgess clearly violated a county ordinance that bars anyone convicted of a felony from holding a brothel license.

"This case is about David Burgess and Mr. Burgess doing something he should not have done, and that constitutes a crime of moral turpitude under anyone's rules," he said.

Miller said he believed that Burgess violated his trust with the county and said the license is a privilege not a right.

In Wyoming, prosectors said two hard drives seized from Burgess' motor home last July during a traffic stop in the state contained a vast collection of child pornography images.

Burgess told police he was on his way to the 2007 Hells Angels USA Run in Eureka Springs, Ark, when he was stopped because of an expired license plate. He's a member of the motorcycle club.