GREAT FALLS – Police on Thursday arrested former Great Falls Mayor and Cascade County Commissioner Gayle Morris on suspicion of promoting prostitution at a strip club he owns.
The 63-year-old Morris is accused of owning, supervising or managing a premises where prostitution takes place. Morris, who was released from the Cascade County regional jail after he posted $5,000 bail, owns Really Windy’s Lounge near Great Falls.
He could not be reached for comment at home or at the club Thursday.
At least two exotic dancers who performed at Really Windy’s have been charged with prostitution. Shawna M. Turton was charged in June, while Jessica R. Burrington was charged earlier this week.
A search warrant was executed at Really Windy’s on May 27, after which Morris told the Great Falls Tribune that he was not aware of prostitution going on at the lounge. He added that he instructs his employees to be mindful of Montana laws and explains to them what constitutes prostitution.
“I don’t have any worries at all,” he said then. “There’s none of that going on out there from my perspective.”
Morris bought Really Windy’s in 2003 after losing his re-election bid for the Cascade County Commission. He was elected mayor of Great Falls in 1992 and served until 1995.
The former mayor is expected to appear in District Court on Friday to be formally charged with the felony.
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