WALKER – The Walker City Council revoked the occupational license Monday of the New Eva Paradise Spa, 9794 Florida Blvd. Suite A.
An investigation began when the city received complaints of women walking around in lingerie. The inquiry discovered the spa did not have the state licenses to operate.
On a motion by council member Scarlett Milton Major, the council voted 5-0 to revoke the occupational license. Voting with Major were council members Richard Wales, David Clark, Eric Cook, and Gary Griffin.
“When you bought the business, you didn’t know a license needed?” City Attorney Bobby King asked spa owner Haitao Wang.
“I didn’t know I had to have this. Now I know,” Wang said.
Speaking in halting English, Wang said the business was now closed.
“I been on vacation in my country. I don’t know what happened,” she said. “The worker contacted me to have meeting here.”
King told the council the city received complaints of “inappropriate activities” at the business.
“Some complaints were female employees walking around the building in lingerie,” King said.
King said he did research with the Louisiana Board of Massage Therapy and found the business license had expired in March when it was owned by someone else.
He said he filed a complaint May 1 with the state board and requested an inspection of the business.
According to a copy of a cease and desist order included in the meeting agenda, Chanda Lafleur, of the Board of Massage Therapy, cited the business for three violations:
• The state board had no record of the business having a current massage establishment license.
• Persons providing massage therapy services were not licensed by the board.
• The business was using the term “massage” in advertising or promotional materials without being properly licensed.
Once a cease and desist letter is issued by the state board, it allows 15 days for the business to file an application for a license, King said.
King said he checked and found the state board had not received a letter or application for a license.
City Chief of Operations Jamie Etheridge and a police officer went to the spa on June 12, where they found two signs in a window, the door open and inside was a sign adverting prices for services, King said.
Two female employees were at the business, but neither could speak English; both had New York state identification, he said.
Both were wearing “inappropriate attire for a business,” King said.
They covered themselves with jackets but could not provide any license information.
A misdemeanor summons was issued for performing services without the proper license. A notice was left to show cause why the occupational license should not be suspended or revoked.
King asked Wang to tell the council what the dress code for the business was and Wang said there was a nurse’s coat.
Asked if she was aware of employees wearing lingerie or other items, Wang said she didn’t understand the question.
Asked why the workers were from New York, Wang said it was traditional for Chinese workers coming to the U.S. to go to New York.
“New York City is like Chinese home there. They come to America and stay there,” she said.
In response to other questions, Wang said the employees had worked for her for 1½ months before she went on vacation and that she owned no other businesses.
“My understanding you were not aware you had to have a license and you’re looking for someone with a license to sell the business to?" King asked her
“Yes,” Wang replied.
“They can follow procedures and apply for an occupational license if they have the paperwork in order,” Mayor Jimmy Watson said after the vote.
“But you don’t have people running around half-naked.”