The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 11, 2014

Discrimination complaint filed against Chicaro Club

ENID, Okla. — A discrimination complaint has been filed against the Chicaro Club, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Tuesday.

The complaint was filed with the AG’s Office of Civil Rights Enforcement, said Diane Clay, Pruitt’s director of communications.

Oklahoma's discrimination statute falls under state jurisdiction and the AG's Office of Civil Rights Enforcement, Clay said.

According to Oklahoma discrimination law: “It is a discriminatory practice for a person to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a 'place of public accommodation' because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.”

Oklahoma can investigate and prosecute within the state’s discrimination statutes, Clay said.

“We continue to encourage anyone who feels they have been refused service based on discrimination to file a complaint with the AG's Public Protection Unit at www.oag.ok.gov,” Clay said.

Gary James, owner of the Chicaro Club, could not be reached at press time.

Recently, the Enid business located at 3030 N. Grand was declared off limits by the Vance Air Force Base Disciplinary Control Board.

James was informed of the decision in a letter dated Feb. 26 from Col. Christopher Daniels, 71st Mission Support Group commander at Vance.

“I have placed (the establishment) off limits due to activity that has endangered the good order, health, morale, safety and welfare of military personnel. This order is made pursuant to a base instruction titled Vance AFB Disciplinary Control Boards and Off-Installation Liaison and Operations,” said Col. Darren James, commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance.

When Gary James was a Ward 4 Enid City Commission candidate in 2009, stories circulated about how he refused service to some customers. At that time, he defended himself against accusations he was racist.

Gary James reportedly has asked black people and people he believes are gay to leave his establishment.

In 2009, Gary James said he had asked people to leave the bar, but it was not based on race or sexual orientation. However, he did have some strong words to describe those he wouldn’t allow in his establishment, calling them “trash” and “f------s.”

Earlier this year, Gary James made similar headlines. KFOR reported James said he’d been in business 44 years and “can spot a freak or a f----t.” Matt Gard, a club regular for years, told the Oklahoma City TV station that Gary James “tried to find a weak excuse not to let me in with my wheelchair or the weak excuse of having loud people with me.”

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