Arlington Mayor: Suspect in Murder-for-Hire Plot "Very Angry"

Mayor talks about alleged plot to kill him over legal battle with strip club owner

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012  |  Updated 7:57 PM CDT
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Only Two Strip Clubs Remain in Arlington

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Mayor Cluck Talks About Murder for Hire Plot

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings mentioned the alleged murder-for-hire plot targeting Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck during a joint news conference today. While Cluck spoke about the incident for the first time.

FBI: Strip Club Owner Plotted to Kill Mayor

An owner of an Arlington strip club was charged Tuesday with trying to hire a hit man to kill Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and a city attorney involved in an ongoing legal fight with the bar.
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Arlington's mayor acknowledged Wednesday that he and a city attorney were the target of an alleged murder-for-hire plot.

The FBI arrested Ryan Grant, the co-owner of Flashdancer Cabaret, on Tuesday on suspicion of trying to hire hit men to kill Mayor Robert Cluck and attorney Tom Brandt.

"You've heard the story," Cluck said at a previously scheduled media conference with other North Texas mayors about water conservation. "What you've heard was, in fact, true."

The city of Arlington has been embroiled in a huge legal battle with Grant's club, which shut down for one year to avoid a trial for a nuisance lawsuit. The police department also has been seeking to terminate Grant's license to operate a sexually oriented business.

Brandt is a contract city attorney who represented Arlington in the lawsuit against Flashdancer.

Grant sought to hire two Mexican hit men to kill Cluck and Brandt, according to affidavits. Court documents say that Grant went so far as to set up a meeting where he met with a man about the murder-for-hire plot and provided pictures of Cluck and Brandt, offering $10,000 a piece for the murders.

"Obviously, he's very, very, angry, and when I heard the facts from the FBI, obviously we were very concerned about it," Cluck said Wednesday. "We're still concerned, but he is in federal custody and will remain that way for the foreseeable future."

In a statement, Brandt said he was grateful to the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration for their work on the case.

"As you can imagine, I've received a number of calls from people concerned about my well-being," he said. "I'm relieved to say that I'm fine and going about the business of practicing law as I would on any other day."

Grant is in federal custody awaiting a detention hearing this week. He and his family say he is innocent of the charges.

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