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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

ABC ENFORCEMENT TO HIRE SIX NEW AGENTS TO HELP WITH MEDICAL MARIJUANA ENFORCEMENT - WILL TAINTED ABC ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR BOYCE HAMLET GET ANOTHER $8K SALARY INCREASE?

IS TAINTED ABC ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR BOYCE HAMLET THE RIGHT CHOICE TO HEAD ABC ENFORCEMENT?

DFA mouthpiece Jake Bleed told reporters that ABC Enforcement will hire six new agents to perform inspections and one lawyer to specialize in medical marijuana issues. 

JAKE BLEED - DFA COMMUNICATIONS ADMINISTRATOR

The state is also planning to procure a "seed to sale" tracking system to aid law enforcement in keeping medical marijuana from being illegally diverted.

ABC Enforcement cannot keep up with who has an active alcoholic beverage permit (see this post) and thinking that they can track medical weed is simply preposterous. 

With the additional burden and responsibility tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet will have with six additional employees, we wonder if he will receive another sizeable increase in salary as he did just three months after being appointed to the position (see this post about the $8k raise he received).  A position that he holds none of the required qualifications that are required for the position.

Tainted ABC Enforcement Director's continued employment has been questioned by many individuals, including Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Mackie Pierce (see this post).

Hamlet is the subject of a pending illegal exaction lawsuit seeking his dismissal and reimbursement of all funds paid to him by DFA/ABC and it comes at a critical time for the ABC.




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

 
MARY ROBIN CASTEEL - APPOINTED TO FULL TIME DIRECTOR OF ABC ADMINISTRATION
 

(News release) – Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Mary Robin Casteel as Director of the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control. Casteel has served as interim director since the departure of former director, Bud Roberts, in May.  

“The ABC faces a number of challenges in the near future, and continuity of leadership will help ensure the success of the agency,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Mary Robin has proven herself a capable leader and an authority on ABC operations. We’re glad she’s agreed to stay on.”

Casteel, a licensed attorney, had previously submitted her resignation and planned to return to private practice. The former director, Bud Roberts, resigned May 26th, and Casteel agreed to serve as interim director at that time.

Casteel, 38, joined ABC in 2013. The ABC regulates the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in Arkansas, and currently oversees more than 5,000 permit holders in the state. Under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment, which voters adopted in November, the ABC will also regulate licensed dispensaries and cultivation facilities.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the coming months related to medical marijuana, as well as the always busy work of regulating alcohol,” Casteel said. “But we have a good team, and I’m glad to remain a part of it.”

Casteel resigned from the agency back on May 19th to go into a private practice of law, a a self proclaimed long-time goal.
We guess that that goal is on hold for a bit.

 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

HUMP DAY HUMOR

Boyce Hamlet exploring lifestyle choices in preparation for his resignation as ABC Enforcement Director

Monday, June 5, 2017

PROBLEMS WITH ABC ENFORCEMENT - SHOOTERS SPORT BAR

In February 2016 we detailed a history of problems at Shooters Sports Bar in Texarkana and the failure of the ABC to protect citizens at that sketchy establishment.

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-abc-allows-soft-core-porn-shows-and.html

Now another individual has filed a lawsuit against Shooters, much like the one we posted about last year.

A man suing an Arkansas nightclub says the establishment did nothing to prevent another patron from attacking him and leaving him unconscious last year.

Rocky Martin Hudson of Texarkana, Texas, said in court filings that he and a friend entered Shooters Sports Bar around 10:45 p.m. July 31, 2016.

At one point, the friend “brushed up against an unknown female patron” who cussed at him and reported him to the bar’s staff, the Texarkana Gazette reported.

That friend was then asked to leave the establishment, according to the newspaper.

Hudson stated that as they later walked out, another customer — Darrell Rutledge — followed them.

Rutledge is accused of attacking Hudson as employees of Shooters stood back and did nothing. Rutledge also reportedly punched and kicked Hudson after he lay unconscious on the concrete.

The suit claims that Rutledge “had been exhibiting loud, obnoxious behavior” and was “clearly visibly intoxicated.” 

The nightclub had created an environment “conducive to violence” and had failed to provide adequate security to prevent such an attack, according to the suit.

Hudson is seeking compensation for medical expenses as well as for lost wages and scarring. 

No doubt the ABC will do nothing as they have in the past.

Friday, June 2, 2017

SOURCE REPORTS ABC ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR BUD ROBERTS WAS FIRED - ARKANSAS STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING ALLEGED KICK-BACK SCHEME INVOLVING MEDICAL MARIJUANA PERMITS

IS BUD ROBERTS THE SUBJECT OF A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION?
We broke the story of the triple resignation bombshell at the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control agency last week and the naming of one of the staff attorneys that resigned as Interim Director of ABC Administration.

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2017/05/breaking-news-resignations-at-abc.html

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2017/05/abc-attorney-says-abc-administration.html

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2017/05/abc-attorney-who-resigned-named-as.html 

Yesterday afternoon, we learned from a highly credible source that the Arkansas State Police is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations that Roberts was involved in a kick-back scheme with applicants for Medical Marijuana permits and that the probe also involves the Roberts Law Firm, headed by Bud's brother Mike Roberts.


Mike Roberts was appointed by Governor Hutchinson in 2015 to a third term as a commissioner on the Economic Development Commission.  Mike Roberts currently serves as Vice Charmian.

The Roberts Law Firm at one time employed the Governor's son, Asa III, but he quickly left the firm after his third DWI arrest and a drug arrest at an Alabama music festival.

We sought comments from the Department of Finance and Administration (Parent agency for the ABC), the Arkansas State Police, the Governor's Office and Mike Roberts.  No responses have been received.

Bud Roberts has been unavailable since his termination/resignation last week.

Stay tuned for updates.

*** UPDATE - 6/2/17 9:22 AM *** 

We were able to reach Jake Bleed, DFA Director of Communications on his cellphone and asked him for comments concerning the report of the State Police Investigation of Roberts.  

Bleed's response was "we do not have a comment, ahhh, ehhh, ...I just don't have anything we can add on that".

JAKE BLEED - DFA DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

The lack of a denial of the report is telling.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ASA HUTCHINSON III GETS DEAL IN ALABAMA DRUG POSSESSION CASE - ARKANSAS COURTS NOT SO LENIENT WITH HIS THIRD DWI ARREST




In January 2016, we were one of the first outlets to report that the Governor's eldest son, Asa William Hutchinson, III had been arrested for DWI.  It was his third DWI arrest. 


Asa III was found guilty of Driving while Intoxicated, Careless and Prohibited Driving and Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing on December 5, 2016.






Asa III has appealed that judgment.



And a hearing has been set for July 24, 2017 on the appeal.


Readers will also recall that we reported in June of last year that Asa III had been arrested for possession of illegal drugs when he tried to enter the Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama on May 21, 2016.

 


Asa III was able to get a sweet deal, usually only given to individuals under the age of 25. Asa III got a break and was given Pre Trial Diversion at the request of the prosecutor.  Smell a rat or the Good Ole Boy System?






Asa III was 41 when he was permitted to use the program set up for individuals half his age and with far fewer drug (alcohol is a drug) related arrests that he has.



The Alabama Court records indicate that they did not consider that he had been arrested for DUI/DWI three times, although those arrests occurred in Arkansas and not in Alabama.

The Baldwin County Alabama Prosecuting Attorney's Office was extremely evasive and reluctant to speak with us and we had to pull teeth to get the case disposition from them.

Turns out that the prosecuting attorney at the time, Hallie Scott Dixon, had a rather sketchy history as prosecutor and and had been under investigation herself.

HALLIE SCOTT DIXON - FORMER BALDWIN COUNTY ALABAMA PROSECUTING ATTORNEY

No doubt Asa III received special treatment from Dixon due to the fact that his father was Governor of Arkansas.

And maybe the arrest of her own daughter for theft in 2015 had something to do with her decision to let Asa III slide. Birds of a feather stick together they say. Dixon's daughter was also a drug addict like Asa III.

 
Dixon made lengthy posts on her personal Facebook page at the time and indicated that jail time was required to help drug addiction:  

"Everyone kept telling me to prepare myself for her loss, those who see this every day all said the same thing and all agreed that the only option left to us as a family was to move forward with charges and pray that going to jail would alter her path of self-destruction," Dixon wrote on Facebook.

Asa III is no longer a problem for the State of Alabama and they can do little to him if he fails to report or participate in treatment for his addiction(s). They got a plea and cash for fines, fees and costs from Asa III and case closed.

We wonder if Asa III's departure from the law firm of Bud Roberts brother after all his legal problems with his drug addictions came to a head had anything to do with the sudden resignations at the ABC, especially that of Bud Roberts?

The Good Ole Boy system also prohibits ratting out fellow members so we will probably never know.





  




  

Saturday, May 27, 2017

COMING NEXT WEEK - UPDATES ON ASA HUTCHINSON III'S ARKANSAS DWI CASE AND THE ALABAMA DRUG CASE



Did Asa III's booting from the law firm of outgoing ABC Administration Director Bud Roberts brother play a part in his exit from the agency? 

Check back on Tuesday, May 30th for the updates.  In the meantime check out our previous posts about Asa III.


http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/01/governors-son-arrested-for-another-dwi.html

http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/06/emails-to-blog-and-asa-hutchinson-iii.html

Friday, May 26, 2017

ABC ATTORNEY WHO RESIGNED NAMED AS INTERIM DIRECTOR - ABC IN TURMOIL OVER SHAKE UP ACCORDING TO SOURCES

MARY ROBIN CASTEEL - SHE QUIT THE ABC AND THEN WAS APPOINTED INTERIM DIRECTOR

Mary Robin Casteel, who submitted her resignation from the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division on May 19th is staying on to serve as the agency's interim director.




Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that Mary Robin Casteel had agreed to stay on and temporarily head the agency after Bud Roberts announced his resignation as its director effective June 15. Casteel and Milton Lueken another attorney for the board had submitted their resignations this month.

The 38-year-old Casteel joined the agency in 2013. ABC regulates the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in Arkansas and will also regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities under a constitutional amendment voters approved last year legalizing the drug for some patients.

The state Medical Marijuana Commission is set to begin accepting dispensary and cultivation facility applications in July.

Lueken told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Roberts had been summoned to the Governor's office on Thursday and when he returned he told Lueken that he had been fired.  Lueken said that Roberts cleared out his office of personal belongings and left.

MILTON LUEKEN - THE OTHER ABC ATTORNEY WHO ALSO RESIGNED

J.R. Davis, the Governors spin doctor, when informed of what Lueken had said, denied that Roberts was fired or asked to resign.

J.R. DAVIS

Shenanigans.

Roberts turned out to be a decent director who treated applicants with respect and did not deserve the poorly handled treatment of a one-term Governor (we say that because when all those Arkansas voters lose their insurance coverage, he won't be able to get elected dog catcher of Dogpatch).

The one individual at the ABC that should be fired and run out of the state is tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet.

Hamlet holds no active law enforcement certification from the State of Arkansas, which is a requirement to hold the position; he does not have the required knowledge and experience that are required for the position. Hamlet has no experience whatsoever with supervising staff and preparing a budget for a state agency.  Besides with his self-proclaimed learning disability involving mathematics (he could never pass college algebra and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff had to waive that class in order for Hamlet to graduate),  how the heck could could he ever develop a budget?

Hamlet has lied on every job application he has made after he was fired by the Arkansas State Police for cheating on an exam and then lying multiple times to ASP investigators.

Hamlet has put down so many false dates of employment at different agencies to cover up his hiring and firing by the ASP that he could not even answer simple questions about dates of employment when cross examined by the publisher of this blog in a hearing.

In that same hearing Hamlet admitted that he had issues with honesty and credibility.  Something we have consistently stated since shortly after he was appointed.

TAINTED ABC ENFORCEMENT DIRECTOR BOYCE HAMLET


In a hearing to obtain the ASP investigative report regarding the investigation of his cheating on an exam, the report that he and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge did not want the public to have access to, the judge after reading the report, immediately ordered its release to the published of this blog and stated that Hamlet's continued employment at the ABC posed serious problems for enforcement.

Read what the Judge Mackie Pierce said for yourself.






Any of the ABC Enforcement Agents that work under him have more actual qualifications to hold his position that he will ever have. And they are actually certified law enforcement officers.

Hamlet was the target of many complaints by state legislators when his enforcement agents raided several VFW Posts for gaming devices.

Hamlet went so far as to investigate a Chucky Cheese location and an indoor amusement park in northwest Arkansas for alleged gaming devices.



With the ABC having the added responsibility to deal with  Medical Marijuana outlet licensing and enforcement issues and it's chief law enforcement officer (who is not certified, yet wears and badge and gun and has a fully automatic rifle in the truck of his state issued unmarked police car) with serious issues with honestly and credibility are facts the Governor needs to accept and realize that he was duped by Hamlet and send the little moron packing.



Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article152907154.html#storylink=cpy

ABC ATTORNEY SAYS ABC ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR WAS FIRED

We broke the news yesterday of the unprecedented resignation of the three top positions in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration, Director Bud Roberts and the two staff attorneys, Mary Robin Casteel and Milton Lueken.

Our email blast to other news media about the event resulted in a flurry of calls to the ABC, the DFA and the governor's office. We have been told that ABC employees were mystified as to how quickly we posted the information ant that tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet suggested that they sweep the ABC offices for listening devices.  Might check your phones for malware too while you are at it Boyce.

A story published in today's edition of the Arkansas Democrat - Gazette, quotes Lueken saying that Roberts was actually fired.


The Arkansas Times has speculated that there were concerns about goings on at the ABC, but the concerns were with ABC Enforcement, not ABC Administration.
Truth be told. most ABC employees, even the Enforcement Agents, would have rather seen tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet fired, errr.... retire.

After all it was Hamlet's continued employment as ABC Enforcement Director that a Circuit Court Judge in a ruling stated "posed serious problems in enforcement for the ABC."


 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BREAKING NEWS - RESIGNATIONS AT ABC ADMINISTRATION




We have received information and confirmation that ABC Administration Director Bud Roberts, along with the two staff attorneys Milton Lueken and Mary Robin Casteel, have submitted their resignations.


BUD ROBERTS - ABC ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR


MILTON LUEKEN - ABC STAFF ATTORNEY



MARY ROBIN CASTEEL - ABC STAFF ATTORNEY



We have sent a request to DFA mouthpiece Jake Bleed for additional details.

 
JAKE BLEED

 
We were hoping that it would be tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet.  

The pending illegal exaction suit against him will no doubt spur his on as well.

Stay tuned for updates. 

***UPDATE 5/25/17 2:25PM***

We received a response from Jake Bleed, Communications Director for the Department of Finance and Administration, the parent agency of the ABC. 

Here are the resignation letters of Roberts, Lueken and Casteel.






You can bet that there is more to these three leaving at the same time that you can glean from these letters.




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HUMP DAY HUMOR

BOYCE HAMLET SHOWS OFF HIS FASHION SENSELESSNESS

Monday, May 22, 2017

PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT JUDGE ORDERS ABC TO ISSUE PRIVATE CLUB PERMIT FOR A LITTLE ROCK GENTLEMEN'S CLUB - ABC WILL NOT APPEAL

  
IN AN EXTRAORDINARY MOVE, JUDGE PIERCE DID NOT SEND THE APPLICATION BACK TO THE ABC BOARD, HE ORDERED THEM TO ISSUE A PERMIT


In December 2016, the ABC Board denied Billy Pope's application for a change of location and use of a private club permit he acquired from the closed down Club Hollywood on Asher Avenue.

Pope wanted to build and open a Gentlemen's Club, called the Skyroom, in a rather remote and out-of-the-way, mostly decrepit industrial part of southeastern Pulaski County.







Pope had held permits from the ABC previously and had operated Gentlemen's Clubs in the past as well.

Pope also has a clean criminal record and no record of violations with his previous permits. Pope paid taxes and fees in regard to the bushiness when they were due. 

As we reported, the ABC Board denied his request and the board chairperson at the time, Janet Moore, an aged Hot Springs shyster, went so far as to say that Pope was not qualified to hold a permit.

Moore had her granny panties in a wad because she apparently did not have a clue what a Gentlemen's Club was (we think she was being extremely disingenuous at that hearing).

This is a video we posted of that particular hearing.  Grab a drink and some popcorn and get ready for some entertainment!  



Chairwoman Moore was heard telling ABC staff attorney Mary Robin Castell that Pope's attorney Stephen Morely would be appealing the decision to Fox, a reference to Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Tim Fox.  

An appeal is exactly what Morley filed.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PETITION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW


The Skyroom's attorney, Stephen Morley is a jovial looking fellow, but don't let his appearance deceive you.  Morely is a legal bulldog.  Take a look at a reply he filed to a pleading filed by ABC staff attorney Mary Robin Casteel.






Morley included a couple of smoking guns as exhibits in his pleadings.


 
These documents, that were in the ABC file that former ABC chairwoman Moore had in front of her the entire time during the December Board meeting, provided compelling evidence to convenience to find in the Skyroom's favor. 

We can tell you one thing, if you are an individual that is planning on opening a liquor store or a private club, you would be well advised to procure the services of Mr. Morley to guide you through the process and be there if issues arise. He is one of the best attorneys in the state that we have seen in dealing with the ABC.

Readers of this blog will recall that Judge Pierce does not play.  He cautioned about keeping tainted ABC Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet around and the impact that might have on enforcement operations in a lawsuit to keep the details of Hamlet's hiring and firing by the Arkansas State Police from the public.


Mary Robin Castell advised the board, now chaired by Dan Greenberg, about Judge Pierce's Order and recommended that they not appeal the decision.

Congratulations to to Mr. Pope and Mr. Morely for a job well done.



**********

Our previous posts about this matter:

https://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/12/abc-board-in-dark-as-to-what-goes-on-at.html


http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/12/abc-agents-give-false-and-misleading.html


http://badaralcoholcontol.blogspot.com/2016/07/abc-board-decision-overturned-by-judge.html