|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: