Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
|LONG TIME ABC BOARD MEMBER MICKEY POWELL GIVES INSTRUCTIONS TO NEWLY APPOINTED CHAIRMAN FREDDIE BLACK AT THE NOVEMBER BOARD MEETING. BLACK IS THE THIRD CHAIRMAN OF THIS BOARD DURING THE HUTCHINSON ADMINISTRATION.|
Newly appointed Alcoholic Beverage Control Board chairman Freddie Black must have taken a peek at our post about his appointment.
Black actually stated that his first appearance as chairman might be his last.
If not for the experience of long-time ABC Board member Mickey Powell, the ABC Board would be like an amoeba in a swimming pool and they might still be sitting at the table a week later.
Powell, a former board chairman himself, relocated from his position at the end of the table were he was relegated by the two previous Hutchinson appointed board chair's to the one next to Black and was overheard giving him instructions.
|POWELL(left) IMPARTS WORDS OF WISDOM TO THE NEW ABC BOARD CHAIRMAN FREDDIE BLACK|
Black floundered each time he swore a witness in and seemed to be amazed that he was asked to serve as chairman by his pal Asa.
AS you can see in the video, it appeared that Black was chewing his cud or a wad of gum most of the meeting.
Most of the chit-chat he made with other board members was about deer hunting.
Black was not the only ABC staffer to have some issues with the process.
Fresh from a stint with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, newly hired staff attorney Deanna Ray, was lacking in knowledge of ABC rules and regulations.
|DEANNA RAY - ABC STAFF ATTORNEY|
The monthly board meeting concluded rather swiftly and that was a good thing.
TV stations were there to cover the permit for Searcy restaurant El Amacen that Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Alice Gray tossed back to the board.
Stephen Morely, the attorney for El Amacen, obtained what was probably his fastest decision from and ABC Board when he called ABC Enforcement Agent Shebly Clark, who like to use his former rank from the Arkansas State Police, as a witness.
|ABC ENFORCEMENT AGENT CPL SHELBY CLARK - ALSO A REALTOR IN WYNNE, AR IN HIS SPARE TIME|
Clark caused the restaurant to be denied a permit months earlier when he made an "executive decision" to bend ABC rules and regulations.
Attorney Moerly introduced an affidavit from Agent Cpl. Clark into evidence and the board quickly voted to approve the permit.
ABC Administration Director Mary Robin Casteel has been noticeably absent from the board meetings and maybe she should be there to help the attorneys hired to fill her shoes get a grip on things.
We can't wait to see what happens at the December board meeting.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
|FREDDIE BLACK - NEWLY APPOINTED ABC BOARD CHAIRMAN|
Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Freddie Black, a banker from Lake Village, to replace Dan Greenberg as ABC Board Chairman.
He may be out of his comfort zone as he is not an attorney and will have to rely on the legal acumen of the new ABC staff attorney, Michael Nelon Harry, who does not appear to be the sharpest tool in the shed (he mistook the word "get" for "bet" in a recent board meeting) to guide him.
Black has served previously on other state boards and will be the third ABC Board Chairman in the Hutchinson Administration.
You will not want to miss his inaugural meeting tomorrow as he will be introduced to attorney Stephen Morley as he gets to pound the board for their foolish decision to deny a permit to El Almacen in Searcy.
|ATTORNEY STEPHEN MORLEY - RACKS UP ANOTHER WIN AGAINST THE ABC BOARD|
No doubt Morley will be able to secure a permit for El Amacen, in this court ordered re-do, as the reason that they were originally denied was that an ABC Enforcement Agent instructed them to violate ABC Rules and Regulations and place a notice away from the front entrance.
After this board meeting, Gov. Hutchinson may be looking for a replacement for Black.
Monday, November 13, 2017
|DID AN ABC "UNDERCOVER MINOR" USE A FAKE ID IN AN ILLEGAL COMPLIANCE OPERATION?|
We have exposed the illegal use of underage individuals by ABC Enforcement Agents and other Arkansas law enforcement agencies in several posts on this blog.
As previously mentioned, Arkansas law specifically prohibits an underage individual from attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages and has no exception for an underage individual working with law enforcement agencies in entrapment/compliance operations.
Courts have long held that the primary rule of statutory construction is to give effect to the intent of the legislature. The courts construe the statue just as it reads, giving words their ordinary and usually accepted meaning in common language. When the language of a statute is plan and unambiguous. The case often cited is Snowden v. JRE Invs., Inc., 2010 Ark. 276,370 S.W.3d 215.
For us regular folks and how that applies to this post, is that the use of underage individuals in alcohol compliance operations is illegal. Period.
Secondly, the ABC and other law enforcement agencies issue citations to stores, bars and clubs that serve the underage individuals that are taking part in the illegal operations stating that the store, bar or club violated Arkansas Code Annotated § 3-3-201, Unknowingly serving alcohol to a minor.
The problem with using that particular statute is that it specifically uses the word "minor".
Arkansas has a statute that defines "minor". Arkansas Code Annotated § 9-25-101 clearly and unequivocally states that all persons of the age of eighteen years shall be considered to have reached the age of majority. So a minor is any individual under eighteen years of age.
ABC Enforcement and Arkansas law enforcement agencies frequently use underage adults (individuals 18 years and older) in their illegal alcohol compliance operations. Issuing citations citing A.C.A. § 3-3-201, a statute in which the language is plan and unambiguous, and which only states that a sale to minor is a violation. This statute cannot be used for citing sales of alcoholic beverages to persons that have reached eighteen years of age and are legal adults, albeit underage adults, yet the ABC cites it regularly when issuing tickets.
A week or so ago, we received an email from an individual that had been ticketed in one of the ABC's illegal compliance operations. This individual asserts that the ID presented by an underage operative actually listed a birth date that would have made the holder of age to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages.
We sent a FOI request to the ABC over a week ago and have yet to receive a response.
As tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet is so lacking in experience and law enforcement credentials, its no wonder that his agents fail to follow the laws of the state as he leads by example and is an admitted law breaker himself.
Stay tuned for updates.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
|ABC CONTROL BOARD CHAIRMAN DAN GREENBERG|
According to our friends at the Arkansas Times, ABC Control Board chairman Dan Greenberg is quitting to take a position with the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.
Greenberg started out as a breath of fresh air after the departure of the previous board chairwoman Janet Moore, but soon soured in that role.
No doubt the Governor's will find another stooge to fill the role.