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Charles County, Maryland

Minutes

Minutes
Thursday, January 11, 2018

 

            The following members of the Board were present at the County Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Charles County Government Building, for a regular hearing of the Board of License Commissioners:  Thomasina Coates, Chairman, Guy N. Black, Vice Chairman, Kathleen Quade, and Linda J. Warren.  Also appearing in support of the Board were M/Cpl. Judith Thompson, Alcohol Enforcement Coordinator; Alcohol Enforcement Inspector Wayne Magoon; Associate County Attorney Jessica Andritz; and Lisa Bailey, Clerk/Recording Secretary. 

            1.         Following a question and answer period as to the nature and specifics of each event, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board approved the following temporary alcoholic beverage license applications, as presented:

LaPlata Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., by:  Lynn D. Gilroy, for three (3) 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL inside the LaPlata VFD Activity Hall, on January 27, February 24, and March 31, 2018, each from 7 pm to 2 am, for Texas Hold’em Fundraisers, with approximately 50-60 people expected to attend.

SoMd Booster Club, Inc., by Karen Anderson, also appearing on behalf of the applicant was Deanna Hayden, Vice President of the Booster Club and Community Marketing, for a 1-day temporary alcoholic beverage license to sell/serve BWL inside the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 4390 Crain Highway, White Plains, MD on February 9, 2018 from 9 PM to 11:30 PM for a wine tasting fundraiser with approximately 100 people expected to attend.  This is an adult “Glow Night” activity and attendees must be at least 21 years old to attend.

            2.         Elliott Jay Baum, Aaron Louis Baum, Scott M. Farren, Capital Blue Ribbon Restaurants, LLC, t/a Famous Dave’s, 3046 Waldorf Marketplace, Waldorf, Maryland  20603, for a transfer of a Class B/BLX  (Luxury Restaurant) Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license from John P. Beckman, James Terry Lenchner, Scott M. Farren, Famous Dave's Ribs of Maryland, Inc., t/a Famous Dave's, 3046 Waldorf Market Place, Waldorf, MD 20603.  At the request of the applicant this matter was continued to February 8, 2018.

            3.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license issued to Penny Flanagan, Claude H. Humbert, Riverboat on the Potomac, Inc., t/a Riverboat on the Potomac, 301 Beach Terrace, Colonial Beach, VA 22443.  Testimony and evidence was presented in the matter of the Charges and Show Cause Order dated November 21, 2017, alleging a violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 6-304 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, in the above-captioned matter.  Licensees Penny Flannagan and Claude Humbert appeared and were represented by Hammad Matin, Esquire.  On behalf of his clients, Mr. Matin acknowledged receipt of the show cause order at least 10 days prior to the hearing, and admitted to providing alcoholic beverages service to an Approved Underage Person on October 25, 2017, in violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 6-304 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.  The server, Kay Christine Weaver, also appeared and acknowledged receipt of the show cause order at least ten days prior to the hearing and admitted to the violation.  The hearing was conducted in accordance with Rule 2.114, with the Board calling M/Cpl. Judith Thompson who testified as to the charges contained in the police report; the licensees and server each responded to questions posed by counsel, the Board members and staff.  The licensees offered further testimony in mitigation of any penalty the Board may be considering, including the circumstances of the sale, past successful compliance checks, and their current alcohol management training and policies.  Mr. Matin further requested, in consideration of the economic impact to the business, that the Board assess a six day suspension, with three of those six days representing those held in abeyance from the previous violation adjudicated by the Board in May, 2011, and an additional three days held in abeyance for an additional three years, in lieu of a fine.

          Upon consideration of the testimony and the other evidence presented during the case, upon a motion duly made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the Board found the licensee and server in violation of Section 6-304 of the Alcoholic Beverages Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland and ordered, that the alcoholic beverage license be suspended for six days, with three days held in abeyance for three years from the date of the hearing, contingent upon no further violations; and, that the three day suspension begin at opening of business on Monday, January 22, 2018, and end at close of business Wednesday, January 24, 2018.  The Board further ordered that the licensee be fined $1,000; and the server, Kay Christine Weaver, be fined $100.00, made payable to the Charles County Treasurer and delivered to the Board of License Commissioners within 14 days of the date of this Order.   

            4.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class B/T (Tavern) – Beer, wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Malcom L. Hill, Innovative Security Concepts, LLC, t/a Invictus Cigars, 2068 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.  Testimony and evidence was presented in the matter of the Charges and Show Cause Order dated November 21, 2017, alleging a violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 6-311 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and Rule 3.107 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of License Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland, on September 12, 2017.  Licensee Malcolm L. Hill appeared and was represented by David J. Martinez, Esquire, who on behalf of his client acknowledged receipt of the show cause order at least 10 days prior to the hearing, and admitted to keeping alcoholic beverages purchased from other than a licensed wholesaler/distributor, as set forth in the show cause order.  The hearing was conducted in accordance with Rule 2.114, with the Board calling M/Cpl. Judith Thompson to read into the record the police report describing the details of the inspection and finding of a violation.  The licensee offered testimony in response to the police report and responded to questions posed by counsel, the Board members, and staff. The Board further addressed concerns that the licensee may not have been “cordial” during the inspection, and the Board reminded him of the authority of law enforcement to conduct inspections as well as a warrantless search of licensed premises, and cautioned the licensee to cooperate with inspectors in the future.  

            Upon consideration of the testimony and the other evidence presented during the case, upon a motion duly made, seconded, and unanimously carried, the Board found the licensee in violation of the charge and ordered that the license be suspended for three days, all held in abeyance for three years from the date of the hearing, contingent upon no further violations; and, that the licensee be fined $750 and delivered to the Board of License Commissioners within 14 days.

            5.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license issued to Patricia A. Shymansky, t/a Shymansky's Marina, 16320 Cobb Island Road, Cobb Island, Maryland  20625.  Testimony and evidence was presented in the matter of the Charges and Show Cause Order dated November 21, 2017, alleging a violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 4-604 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and Rule 3.104 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of License Commissioners for Charles County, Maryland, regarding disturbance of the peace of the community involving excessive noise and lighting.  Licensee Patricia Shymansky appeared along with Robert Shymansky and Charles Johnson.  Patricia Shymansky and Charles Johnson, JNP Enterprises, LLC, t/a Shymansky’s Restaurant and Marina, have an application for transfer pending before the Board since March, 2017, pending the satisfaction of certain contingencies.  Mrs. Shymansky acknowledged receipt of the show cause order at least 10 days prior to the hearing.  Prior to the hearing Mrs. Shymansky indicated that they intended to contest the charges contained in the show cause order.  Counsel to the Board Jessica Andritz inquired as to whether or not they intended to move forward without counsel.  The Board gave the licensee an opportunity to discuss the matter off the record, and after conferring with her associates, Mrs. Shymansky advised that she was prepared to move forward with the hearing.  Associate County Attorney Shanee Major-Kelly appeared on behalf of alcohol enforcement and waived opening statements as did the licensee.  Ms. Major-Kelly called M/Cpl. Judith Thompson, Alcohol Enforcement Coordinator, who presented direct testimony in support of her investigative memorandum dated October 19, 2017.  The memorandum and Chapter 260-3. Noise exceeding measurable standards of the Charles County Code were entered into evidence as County Exhibit 1.  The hearing continued in accordance with Rule 2.114 – Conduct and Order of Presentation in License Suspension and Revocation Show Cause Hearings, as to each witness, with direct examination and cross examination of the following individuals, as well as questioning by Board members and staff and those in attendance.  The Board also called PFC Daniel Raby who testified as to decibel readings and his involvement in the investigation; and, witness residents Bill Parrish, Jane Parrish, Theresa Ann Petticord, Douglas Richard Brown, Jacob Rudy, and Byron Payne, who each testified as to the disturbance to the peace of their residence and/or their interaction with the license holder or her representative. The presentation of evidence concluded with closing statements by both Ms. Major-Kelly and the licensee.

            As an aside, the clerk shared an email from Planning and Growth Management who advised that the Use and Occupancy permit for the outside “tiki bar” had not been obtained by the licensee.  The Board ordered that the licensee is NOT approved to sell or serve alcoholic beverages from the “tiki bar” without the approved Use and Occupancy Permit, and reminded the licensee that they must comply with all laws and regulations of the State and county.

            Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented during the case, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board determined that the decibel level exceeded permissible levels under the County’s Zoning Ordinance.  However, the Board members declined to assess a fine or suspension and instead cautioned the licensee about her affirmative obligation not to disturb the peace of the neighborhood.  More specifically, the Board informed the licensee that even if the decibel levels were within the levels permitted under the Zoning Ordinance, the licensee could be in violation of the prohibition of disturbing the peace, and thus, the Board urged the licensee to ensure they are not creating a disturbance and to “bridge the gap” by working with alcohol enforcement and the community to ensure that they can peacefully coexist. 

            In addition, Mrs. Shymansky and Mr. Johnson indicated that the transfer of the alcoholic beverage license to JNP Enterprises, LLC, should be completed within 60 days from the date of this hearing.  

           6.         Show Cause in the Matter of the Class D – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on/off sale) alcoholic beverage license issued to Derrick Antoni Neal, Kirit A. Patel, My Jimmie's Liquor, LLC t/a Jimmies Liquors, 6270 Brandywine Road, Hughesville, MD 20637.  Testimony and evidence was presented in the matter of the Charges and Show Cause Order dated November 21, 2017, alleging a violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 6-311 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and Rule 3.107 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of License Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland, on October 4, 2017.  Resident licensee Derrick Antoni Neal appeared and was represented by David J. Martinez, Esquire, who on behalf of his client acknowledged receipt of the show cause order at least 10 days prior to the hearing, and contested the charges contained in the show cause order, alleging that the licensee kept and/or purchased alcoholic beverages from someone other than a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler, private bulk sale permit holder, or nonresident winery permit holder.  Associate County Attorney Shanee Major-Kelly entered her appearance on behalf of the County, and called her first witness, Wayne Magoon, Alcohol Inspector with the Office of the Sheriff.  Inspector Magoon offered testimony under direct and cross examination providing a summary of the incident contained in AB Exhibit 1 – the Incident Report; and AB Exhibit 2 – Photographs 1-7.  Ms. Major-Kelly also called Ms. Stacy Piezano, Human Resources Director for Republic National, who testified as to the employment of Benjamin Abel, as well as an explanation as to an Invoice entered into evidence as AB Exhibit 3; and, Benjamin Abel, a former salesman at Republic National, who testified as to package deals and discounts offered by Reliable, and orders and deliveries to Jimmie’s and Bridge Liquors.  Mr. Martinez called Jamesh Patel, the manager of Jimmie’s Liquors, who testified under direct and cross examination as to how the cited alcoholic beverages came into the licensed premises, his residence and relationship to the licensees at Bridge Liquors, and his communications with Mr. Abel.  The Board questioned each witness as they concluded their direct and cross examination, and the evidentiary portion of the hearing concluded with a brief summary from both sides.

          Upon consideration of the testimony and evidence presented, the Board found the licensees in violation of Alcoholic Beverages Article, § 6-311 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, and Rule 3.107 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of License Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland, by keeping and/or purchasing alcoholic beverages obtained from someone other than a licensed manufacturer or wholesaler, private bulk sale permit holder, or nonresident winery permit holder, and ordered that the alcoholic beverage license be suspended for 3 days, each held in abeyance for 3 years from the date of the hearing, contingent upon no further violations and that the licensee be fined $750.

            7.         Cpl. Judith Thompson presented her compliance report dated January 9, 2018, indicating seven compliance checks were conducted, with the following six licensees passing:

1.  Absher Liquors, La Plata (Drive-In/

            Re-check)

2.  Bollywood Masala, La Plata

3.  Big B Liquors, Bryans Road (Drive-In)

4.  Bryans Road Liquors, Bryans Road

      (Recheck)

5.  Berry Country Market, Waldorf (Recheck)

6.  925 Liquors, Waldorf

           8.         Licensee Brianna Brown appeared on behalf My Wayside Store, LLC, t/a Wayside Store to advise the Board of a recent fire at the premises.  M/Cpl. Thompson and Inspector Magoon advised that there had been severe damage to the building due to the fire.  Chairman Coates offered the Board’s condolences to the licensee, and advised that the alcoholic beverages must be secured, stored or disposed of in accordance with alcoholic beverage laws, and that permits for transportation and storage are available through the Maryland Comptroller.  Upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the Board advised that they would keep the license in safe keeping on the condition that the licensee(s) notify the Board at least every 60-days advising of the status of the premises/license.

            9.         M/Cpl. Judith Thompson, who also sits on the Executive Board for Maryland Alcohol Licensing Association, sought Agenda ideas for the 2018 MALA Conference.

            10.       Associate County Attorney Jessica Andritz advised the Board that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an order dismissing the final case in the Administrative Appeal of the Board’s Order in the matter of the Class B (RB) – Beer, Wine & Liquor (on sale only) alcoholic beverage license issued to Sutasinee Thana, Michael James Lohman, Thai Seafood & Grill, Inc., t/a Thai Palace, 2732 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland, 20601.  Therefore, the licensee may continue to operate under the Consent Order dated November 12, 2009, limiting among other things, the hours of operation, type of entertainment, and hours and days of operation.

            11.       With no further business, and upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the meeting adjourned at 4:40 P.M.

 

_____________/s/_______________________

Lisa Bailey, Clerk