Since 2005, Gordon Wheeler Sr. had a tumultuous relationship with Morrison County officials.
In May 2005, criminal charges were filed against Gordon Wheeler Sr. and five women for their involvement in prostitution at the Camp Bar, owned by Wheeler. The charges stemmed from a four-month undercover investigation by the Morrison County Sheriff's Department and the Minneapolis Police Department. Wheeler and the other defendants were arrested in April 2005.
In June 2005, Wheeler made his first court appearance on the prostitution-related charges.
In August 2005, Wheeler was denied from operating another adult use business, Lookin' Fine Smut and Porno, 12 miles west of Little Falls in Culdrum Township, by Morrison County District Court. Later in the month, Wheeler was arrested again for promoting prostitution.
In November 2005, the Morrison County Board denied Wheeler's request for a liquor license renewal for the Camp Bar and Krazy Rabbit.
In December 2005, the Morrison County Board asked for a temporary injunction to shut down the Camp Bar, citing a public nuisance law.
The Camp Bar, shown in this May 2005 photo, was the subject of a four-month undercover investigation in early 2005 involving prostitution. Gordon Wheeler Sr., 60, owner of the bar, was convicted in 2006 on prostitution-related charges. He was killed Tuesday by law enforcement officials after taking Morrison County officials hostage during a county board meeting. Brainerd Dispatch
» Purchase reprints of this photo.
In April 2006, Wheeler was convicted of felony promoting prostitution, felony profiting from prostitution and gross misdemeanor operating a disorderly house, a prostitution-related charge.
In June 2006, Wheeler was sentenced to 90 days jail, placed on 15 years supervised probation and fined $10,000. In a separate court action, the Camp Bar was closed for a period of one year.
In October 2006, the Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by Wheeler to operate an adult-use business called Lookin' Fine Smut and Porno in Culdrum Township. In a Oct. 13 Dispatch story, Morrison County Administrator Tim Houle said, "I don't think this is the end of the struggle with Mr. Wheeler," referring to a liquor license request for the Krazy Rabbit in the Camp Bar near Camp Ripley.
In December 2006, the Minnesota Supreme Court denied a petition to review an appeal from Wheeler to operate "Lookin' Fine Smut and Porno."
In February, a $5 million lawsuit filed by Wheeler against three county officials was dismissed in Morrison County District Court. A similar lawsuit against the county was dismissed in late 2007. The officials named by Wheeler in the lawsuit were Tom Wenzel, county commissioner; Houle, county administrator; Roger Kuklok, former planning and zoning director.
In a Feb. 29 Dispatch story, Houle said, "This was the outcome I expected all along. This was nothing but a frivolous attempt by Mr. Wheeler to try to punish Morrison County officials for holding him accountable for his actions, of which he had been found guilty in previous court cases. We will continue to hold him accountable anytime he breaks the law just as we have been willing to do during the entire time this lawsuit moved through the court system."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.