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Arlington Mayor Speaks On Murder-For-Hire Plot

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Mayor Robert Cluck spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time about an alleged murder-for-hire plot targeting him and a lawyer doing contract work for the city.

The owner of a sexually oriented business the city had shut down allegedly targeted the two.

Flashdancer is a strip club the city shuttered for a year as part of a sexually-oriented business nuisance suit. But a federal complaint argues the owner was worried the city –– and the mayor–– wanted to shut it down for good and took action against the two city officials.

Cluck spoke to reporters at a mid-morning news conference on lawn irrigation on Wednesday. He did not take questions or go into detail, but he confirmed initial news reports.

“You’ve heard the story, and what you’ve heard was, in fact, the truth.”  The federal complaint accuses Flashdancer’s owner Ryan Walker Grant with approaching an unidentified middle man to hire Mexican hit men.

It claims Grant offered $10,000 each to eliminate the mayor and a contract attorney who works with the city on sexually-oriented businesses.

Cluck says the FBI approached him Monday as agents prepared to arrest Grant.

“Obviously he’s very, very angry,” the mayor said. “When I heard the facts from the FBI obviously we were very concerned about it. And we still are concerned.”

The other alleged target, Tom Brandt, does contract work on government issues for Arlington and works out of a Dallas office.

He released a statement saying, in part, “I’m grateful to the FBI and DEA for their excellent work,” And adding, “I’m relieved to say that I’m fine and going about the business of practicing law as I would on any other day.”

Flashdancer was one of two remaining adult oriented businesses in east Arlington, located in an area of mostly-shuttered storefronts along State Highway 360.

Though the city claimed numerous violations and police calls to Flashdancer, the business next door didn’t have many spillover issues, according to Lock Murrell of Apex Plumbing Supply.

“Maybe some problems with them throwing beer bottles to, around the yard or something, but other than that, nothing,” Murrell said.

Arlington police say Cluck has a security detail similar to ones in Dallas and Fort Worth. Dallas provides police protection daily beginning at the mayor’s front door.

Grant is in federal custody in Parker County and unavailable for interviews.

His attorney for Flashdancer says he is not the defense attorney in the alleged murder-for-hire scheme and won’t talk about any of it until Grant has defense counsel.

Grant’s first court appearance is set for Friday.

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