Here’s what you need to know

  • The Clovis City Council met on October 3, 2022 and spent an hour and a half debating whether a permit suspension for The Palace nightclub in Old Town Clovis should be upheld.  The entertainment permit was suspended due to resident complaints and Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) violations. Ultimately, the council voted 4-0 to uphold the suspension due to the safety of minors in the city.
  • The council supported sending a letter of support to the City of Fresno regarding the ability to conduct expedited U.S. Custom clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the U.S. at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
  • The council also approved the appointment of Sarah Harris to the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA) Board. Councilmember Ashbeck said that Harris is a good advocate for those with disabilities, which brings a good perspective to the board.
  • A Clovis resident said she is upset about the Clovis statues, “The Ties That Bind” and “Bronco Buster”. She said that the statues have a negative connotation and explained its connection to the Trail of Tears and how the statue could misrepresent the historical event.

Follow-up Questions:

  • How will entertainment business owners be able to protect their businesses from trouble caused by non-residents/visitors?
In 2005, the city of Clovis erected its “Bronco Buster,” a replica of a famous Fredric Remington statue presented to Teddy Roosevelt in 1895.

The Scene

The City of Clovis meeting took place on October 3, 2022 at 6:03 p.m. The meeting was accessible online via Youtube and Webex. The agenda is available online and printed physically for in-person attendees. A short recess was taken at 7:29 p.m. due to microphone issues for the audience who tuned in via Webex, but resumed shortly after at 7:35 p.m.

Bessinger was absent from the meeting. 

Name of Officials:

Jose Flores, Mayor (also chief of police, State Center Community College District Police Department)

Lynne Ashbeck, Mayor Pro Tem (also senior vice president community engagement and population wellness, Valley Children’s Healthcare)

Vong Mouanoutoua, Council Member (also external relations and project development director, Community Medical Foundation)

Bob Whalen, Council Member (also Fresno County deputy district attorney)

Drew Bessinger, Council Member (also retired chief of police, Fresno Yosemite International Airport)

  • City Clerk Karey Cha & City Attorney Scott Cross


  • Item 10: FCTA (Fresno County Transportation Authority) Board has a position vacant since 2014 requiring residency in Clovis or Fresno. (Presented by John Holt, City Manager.)
    • Appointed Sarah Harris, who wishes to serve. Harris has a history of assisting elected officials. 
    • Lynne Ashbeck adds that Sarah Harris is a good advocate for those with disabilities, which brings in a good perspective towards the transportation system.
  • Item 9: Conduct an appeal hearing regarding entertainment permit suspension for the Palace Nightclub located at 446 Clovis Avenue Clovis, CA 93612. (Denied appeal and upholds suspension.) California ABC Type 48 license: Minors not allowed to enter or remain (musicians exempted). (Presented by Scott Cross, City Attorney.) 
    • Police Corporal Chris Hutchison raised his right hand before the testimony. Hutchison oversees the entertainment scene in the city and presents the disturbance complaints regarding The Palace nightclub.
    • Citizen complaints: 
      • Minors attending the palace and consuming alcohol
      • Paying security cash for entry
      • An 18-year-old driver was arrested for DUI with 4 minor passengers who were under the influence of alcohol and had special event wristbands as an entrance to the palace. 
      • Crowd blocking traffic. 
    • Hutchison said that the “Thirsty Thursday” event at The Palace attracted underage girls which gave them access to The Palace. He explained that ID didn’t need to be presented with wristbands because they were pre-sold.

Bob Whalen asked Officer Hutchison if he was the respondent to the calls, which Hutchison responded that he followed-up with the workers and social media where the club advertises to its audience.

Vong Mouanoutoua asked questions regarding the CUP and when complaints began to happen. In which Hutchison said that prior to July 28, nightclub owners were aware of the complaints from Clovis Police.

Lynne Ashbeck said that they cannot seize the serving of alcohol, however the minor’s attendance should be in question. She asked about a suspension in 2021, which Hutchison said was due to a homicide.

Joe Flores urged that the age of alcohol consumers must be gathered before the assumption of the nightclub serving minors.

  • The permits for three clubs have been revoked in the past year of 2021. In 2022, only one club’s permit has been revoked.
  • Mr. Lossley, investor of The Palace, said it took a whole year to remodel The Palace where people could go and have a good time:
  • After the homicide, the club gained over 24,000 views on Google and the club was suspended for 124 days. 
  • Music was able to be played but only until midnight. He said their crowds were nurses and business owners. 
  • He noticed that business was changing, the audience was increasing, and that the other nightclub owners didn’t like that. 
  • He said that fake IDs were being used, which resulted in training to help workers identify fake IDs. 
  • Security was given tools to identify fake IDs, however they were still being authorized, even with lights. He includes that his night club is the only entertainment business that has been receiving complaints compared to every other. 
  • He is seeking help from Clovis PD with training to help detect the fake IDs. 

Flores asked Lionell about the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) . “You are hiring people who cannot identify IDs.” “An ordinary black light is what is being used to scan IDs”

Mouanoutoua asked prior to July 28, what precautions did Lossley take after being aware of minors attending his entertainment business. Lossley said that Clovis Police raided the club looking for minors and it was his first time being aware that the night club was receiving complaints. They arrived unannounced and found nothing.

  • Lossley said that he would hire ex-police officers to make the nightclub more safe and enjoyable towards the correct target audience. 
  • He adds that he feels his company is being discriminated against and the allegations being made are due to the success of his entertainment business. 
  • His reasoning is that it has been suspended for over a month, while other businesses have never been shut down for over three weeks.
  • Jeremy Sovas: Employee since 2013 spoke:
    • He said that he took the RVS training class in May of 2022 and has collected a stack of fake IDs along with other bartenders. 
    • As a bartender, he checked IDs before security arrived at the scene and took extra precautions after the incidents.
  • Claudia Lossley: Owner of the ABC license – said that a few of the items that the Clovis Police presented in court were never mentioned or reported to them. 
    • Lossley said that the wristband is something that has never been a part of their club.
  • Chief PD: “They made a commitment to keep downtown Clovis safe after the incident.” Ongoing battery issues in Clovis after the pledge. He believes that the suspension should not be lifted because of the risk of minors becoming victims. 

    Voting: Uphold Suspension of The Palace nightclub.
    • Voting 
  • Bob Whalen:  Yes
  • Lynne Ashbeck: Yes
  • Joe Flores: Yes 
  • Vong Mouanoutoua: Yes
  • 4-0 Voting: The Clovis City Council was in favor of Clovis Police upholding the suspension of The Palace nightclub.
  • Item 12: Global Entry Program
    • A U.S. Custom program allowing expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the U.S.
    • Interviews are only conducted in LA and the Bay Area. 
    • TSA is already available. 
    • Letters of support from Clovis City Council to begin interviews allowing the program to be available at Fresno International Airport saving local residents travel cost and time.
      • 4-0 Voting: The City Council was in favor of sending a letter of support to the City of Fresno. 

Public Comments (Not related to Agenda):

  • Steve : A Clovis resident concerned about traffic between Sunnyside & Fowler Avenues. He said that during the morning hours it is a distraction to him and his neighbor as there seems to be more traffic where children are crossing near Clark Intermediate. He said it is a hazard for pedestrians & bicyclists. He continues that he was concerned about a person sleeping on the sidewalk and calls the police, but they never showed up. 
    • Flores said that the two lanes where crossing occurs is due to parents being in a rush to pick up children from school. Traffic continues to be expected in the area.
  • Karen Taylor: A Clovis resident said she is upset about the statues, “The Ties That Bind” & Bronco Buster. She said that the statues have a negative connotation and explained the backstory about the, “Turkey trail of tears”, expressing that the statue could be misinterpreted regarding the historical event.

The meeting adjourned at 8:26 p.m. With next week’s meeting on October 10 canceled, the next meeting is scheduled for October 17.

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

Support our nonprofit journalism.


Your contribution is appreciated.