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PORTLAND A state investigation found substantial evidence of discrimination against a North Portland bar owner, the Oregon Bureau of Labor Industries said.

The group started investigating Chris Penner, the owner of the bar formerly called P Club, after a customer complained that she received a phone message from him, asking that she and other transgender friends stay away from the bar.

The bureau said that message that made the difference.

You don't always see such solid evidence in a case, but in this case, one of the individuals had a tape recording on their home message machine of the owner of the P Club, asking them to not come back because he didn't want his bar to be considered a tranny or gay bar, said labor commissioner Brad Avakian.

Penner's lawyer released a statement Wednesday asserting that Penner had previously tried to resolve the dispute. But that the bureau had no idea what to do, and certainly did not have any proposal for conciliation.

A hearing will be held to investigate potential charges and decide on a settlement.

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