Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dan Salem will keep his local Taco John’s franchise despite his recent prostitution conviction.

“We do not anticipate any change in the ownership,” said Renee Middleton, vice president of marketing for the national restaurant chain.

Salem, 61, admitted in court this week that he offered a woman money for sex in May. He pleaded guilty to a prostitution charge and was sentenced to two years of probation and a fine of about $2,000 on Monday.

It was the second time in six years he had been arrested for the crime.

Middleton has said that Taco John’s franchise contracts include a provision that allows them to end the agreement if the franchisee “endangers the brand,” which includes criminal convictions. But the company has never done so, she said.

Salem told a judge on Monday that his most recent arrest has not hurt his business.

“Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected it negatively so far, and I’m very surprised,” he said.

Despite the arrest, several employees that he hired in the past six months have been women, Salem said.

In 2006, Salem was accused of offering to pay a woman $150 twice each week for sex at the restaurant in May 2006.

Salem said he recently sought counseling in Minneapolis to help prevent him from soliciting sex again, and that he attends individual and group therapy sessions. Salem will likely be required to continue the counseling as part of his probation.