Shane Harrington alleges in the federal lawsuit that the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission wrongfully denied him a license that would have allowed him to open Club Smooth, a nightclub planned for downtown Lincoln. Harrington is seeking $25 million in damages.
Much of the testimony during the 2011 commission hearing focused on Harrington’s ownership of pornographic websites. Lincoln city officials told commissioners that the sites depicted public nudity in Lincoln, and they expressed doubts that Harrington would follow state liquor laws.
Harrington says he was harassed by local officials in Lincoln, and his license application was unrelated to his website.