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Board of License Commissioners

September 7, 2004

The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum, presiding.

Mauritz Stetson, Alcoholic Beverage Inspector, was also in attendance.


The Commissioners approved the following Special Licenses:

- a one-day only, Class C, Beer License for the Kent Hospice Foundation, of Chestertown, for a fund-raising event to take place on the Chester River Yacht and Country Club property in Chestertown on September 17, 2004;

- a one-day only, Class C, Beer and Wine License for Shrewsbury Parish Church of Kennedyville, for an event to take place at the church on September 18, 2004;

- a one-day only, Class C, Beer, Wine and Liquor License for the Galena Volunteer Fire Department for an event to take place at the Fire House on October 8, 2004.


In response to a report dated August 13, 2004 received from the Alcoholic Beverage Inspector relating to an alleged violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws, i.e. Article 2B, Section 13-101, (2)(i) (failure to have an individual certified in alcohol awareness training on the premises during the hours in which alcohol beverages may be served or consumed) of the Annotated Code of Maryland, an administrative hearing was held at 9:30 a.m.

Thomas Yeager, County Attorney, was in attendance as well as Paul A. Hanley, Jr., President and Treasurer, Blue Heron Café, Inc.

Commissioner Crow recused himself from deliberations noting a conflict of interest in light of a business relationship that he has with Mr. Hanley.

Mr. Stetson and Mr. Hanley were sworn in by Mr. Yeager for giving testimony.

Mr. Stetson reported that during a routine inspection on Thursday, August 12, 2004, at approximately 12:00 noon, he observed the hostess working on the premises, Leigh Gonzalez, and recognized that her certification had expired in March 2003. When he asked Ms. Gonzalez if any employee on duty at that time was certified in alcohol awareness and if any certified employee had logged-out, Ms. Gonzalez replied to both questions in the negative.

As a result of the inspection, Mr. Stetson reported that there was probable cause to believe that a violation of the alcoholic beverage laws had occurred.

Mr. Hanley then testified, beginning his comments by expressing his appreciation to the Board that it required a hearing rather than simply imposing a fine without a hearing.

Mr. Hanley explained that, upon his return home from a vacation, he was informed of, what he described as, a detail "overlooked," i.e. confirming prior to his vacation that all of the employees scheduled to work during his vacation were certified in alcohol awareness.

Mr. Hanley emphasized that during the 7 years of his ownership of a liquor license, the violation which took place would be the first such violation. He asked that, therefore, the Board of License Commissioners view said infraction of the law as a minor one.

Mr. Hanley also noted the difficulty being faced by his restaurant to schedule employees to attend alcoholic awareness classes when it is also faced with the difficulty of having an adequate number of staff to operate the business.

Commissioner Pickrum requested a recess for counsel with Mr. Yeager at 9:45 a.m.

Commissioners Pickrum and Livie and Mr. Yeager resumed the hearing at 9:50 a.m.

Commissioner Pickrum indicated that the Board found Blue Heron Café, Inc. to be in violation of Alcoholic Beverage Laws and levied a fine of $100.00 which was suspended.

The hearing ended at 9:50 a.m.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, September 14, 2004, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room, Chestertown.


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

Please contact Ileana Lindstrom or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.



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