No one from the business — Q Massage at 1200 Barrett Pkwy. in west Cobb near Cobb Parkway — showed up during the hearing to contest the vote.
In 2012, the county issued Qiyi Hao a health spa license to operate the massage business, but when Hao applied to renew his license this year, the county denied the request at the recommendation of the Cobb Police Department.
Hao appealed to the Board of Commissioners, but was denied by a 5-0 vote.
Two undercover officers with Cobb Police testified to visiting the massage parlor on different dates, one on Nov. 5 and one on April 24. The officers stood in the hallway just outside the board room to remain off camera, as they told commissioners what they found on their visits.
On the Nov. 5 visit, one undercover officer, armed with a concealed listening device so that officers on the outside could listen in, paid for a massage. After disrobing, a woman began the massage and in due course attempted to engage in a sex act with him. The police check resulted in the arrest of employee Jing Wang, 44. The same thing occurred with a different undercover officer and different woman April 24, they said.
Summing up the case, county attorney Sam Hensley said not only was illegal activity occurring at the business, but Hao was an absentee owner.
“No one is here today on behalf of the license, the licensee himself is not here, which would indicate a rather cavalier attitude about a very serious situation on going at this particular location,” Hensley said.
Hensley said Hao was also in violation of the Georgia Immigration Reform Act for failing to provide two affidavits, one as a private employer indicating if he is required to use an employee status verification system for his employees and the other verifying his legal status to work in the U.S.
“The takeaway message is very clear,” County Chairman Tim Lee said after the vote. “We have ordinances that allow legitimate businesses to conduct themselves in a proper manner, but we also have the methods and the means, and the will and the desire to make sure the citizens of Cobb County are protected from business owners that decide that they are above the law. In this particular case, that proved to be true. We had a tip, we took that into account and pursued it and found it to be in fact true and brought the people forward, and as a result, their license was taken away today.”
County spokesman Robert Quigley said the county will notify Hao that his license has been denied and that the business must now be closed.
“If it remains open, then the county will need to seek an injunction from a judge to prevent them from operating,” Quigley said.
Hao has the option of appealing the decision in Cobb Superior Court.