Arlington: Mayor, lawyer were targets of murder plot

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by CASEY NORTON and TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 10 at 10:15 PM

Flashdancer Cabaret

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Home of Ryan Walker Grant

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FORT WORTH — The owner of an Arlington strip club is accused in a murder-for-hire plot targeting Arlington's mayor and an attorney hired to represent the city.

Flashdancer Cabaret owner Ryan Grant had been in a legal battle with the city for years.

FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration agents raided Ryan Grant's stately home in Kennedale late Monday night. Court documents released Tuesday reveal that Grant had just given the go-ahead to commit murder.

Craig Cude, a neighbor in Grant's upscale neighborhood, heard and watched the raid.

"They were yelling at him and yelling at him, 'Everyone get out of the house, get on the ground!' The next thing I know, I hear, 'Pow!' A giant flash bomb went off, and I got scared," Cude said.

The agents descended on the home following a week-long investigation.

According to court documents, Grant had an April 3 phone conversation with an unnamed individual regarding "formal business." The conversation was recorded.

Later that day, court documents say Grant met with that individual at his home and handed over pictures, names, and contact information of the two people he wanted killed: Arlington Mayor Dr. Robert Cluck and attorney Tom Brandt, who represented the city in an ongoing legal battle with Grant's establishment.

The documents say Grant told the individual that Cluck and Brandt "jacked me for a year of business, and they're trying to jack me indefinitely." He allegedly claimed that the actions of city officials were costing him $800,000 a year.

Flashdancer Cabaret temporarily closed in January following a settlement with the City of Arlington and the State of Texas. The city had reported repeated problems with the club, but Grant claimed he was being unfairly targeted by police.

He filed suit against the city, claiming that police inspected his facility 100 times over an eight-month period.

Court documents say Grant requested men from Mexico to travel to Texas to carry out the killings. Grand reportedly used a racial slur to describe the men he wanted to complete the murders.

He offered a total bounty of $20,000, the documents said.

According to the legal papers, Grant spoke with the unnamed individual on April 5 and April 6 and told him to hold off on carrying out the plan.

Then — on April 9 — he allegedly gave the go-ahead to go ahead with one of the killings.

Grant was arrested on Monday night.

Mayor Cluck expressed relief and thanks on Tuesday night. "We as a City Council must always act in the best interests of the City of Arlington," he said. "I believe we've done that, and will continue to do so."

Grant remains in federal custody pending a Friday court hearing.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com and twoodard@wfaa.com

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