01-022-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________

AN ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE LICENSES; IMPOSING CIVIL PENALTIES FOR CERTAIN VIOLATIONS; AMENDING SECTION 8-9 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED.

BY PRESIDENT EDWARDS:

        The city of Duluth does ordain:

                Section 1.     That Section 8-9 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 8-9. Suspension and revocation of licenses; civil penalty; presumptive penalties.

        (a)     When it comes to the attention of the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission that any establishment licensed pursuant to this Chapter may have violated the provisions of this Chapter or any other law relating to the operation of a liquor establishment, or that such establishment may be engaging in other conduct that may constitute good cause for the suspension or revocation of its liquor license, the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission may call for a hearing to determine the validity of the allegations and to determine what, if any, disciplinary measures shall be recommended to the city council for their implementation against the licensee. Any hearing called pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be held before the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission and shall be held pursuant to the procedural and evidentiary provisions of Minnesota Statutes, sections 14.57 to 14.69, and rules promulgated thereunder. At such hearing, the commission shall hear all relevant evidence and arguments from all parties. After due deliberation, the commission shall determine the validity of the allegations and what, if any, corrective or punitive measures will be recommended to the city council. At the completion of the hearing and deliberations, the commission shall direct the city clerk to prepare a report to the city council which shall consist of the commission's findings of fact, conclusions and recommendation to the city council. The report shall be filed with the city council and served personally or by first class mail upon the parties to the hearing. The council shall also receive a copy of the transcript of the commission's hearing and any exhibits introduced as evidence. The city council shall not render a decision on the matter until at least ten days after it has received the report of the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission. During this ten day period, either party to the hearing may present written exceptions to the report of the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission or make arrangements to be placed on the agenda of the city council to present oral argument to the city council concerning the matter. The city council's decision on the matter shall be in the form of a written resolution which shall contain findings of fact and conclusions on all material issues and shall set forth any punitive action taken against the license. A copy of the resolution shall be served upon the licensee personally or by first class mail;
        (b)     Without limiting other grounds for suspension or revocation, the following shall be deemed to be good cause for suspension or revocation of a liquor license:
                (1)     Violation of any law relating to the operation of a liquor establishment, including, but not limited to, state, federal and local laws on liquor, gambling, prostitution, health and fire safety;
                (2)     The establishment is operated in such a way as to constitute a public nuisance;
                (3)     The establishment has failed to pay license fees or city or state sales tax or that property taxes on the building have not been paid;
                (4)     The establishment has failed to file or maintain any insurance or bond required by law;
                (5)     The establishment is insolvent, bankrupt or otherwise financially unable to continue business;
                (6)     Refusal to cooperate with the board or the police in any investigation and the refusal to admit police officers into the establishment at any time when people are in the establishment;
                (7)     Failure to follow the procedures set forth in this Chapter with respect to change of ownership, change of location or changes in serving area of the establishment;
                (8)     Nonuse of the license;
                (9)     The filing of a license application containing information or statements known by the applicant to be false;
        (c)     The city council may, for the causes enumerated above, revoke a license, suspend a license for up to 60 days, or impose a civil penalty of not to exceed $2,000 for each violation, or any combination of these sanctions. Absent significant aggravating or mitigating circumstances, the presumptive penalties for violations shall be as follows:

First offense $500 civil penalty
Second offense within one year $750 civil penalty and one day license suspension
Third offense within two years $1,000 civil penalty and five day license suspension
Fourth offense within two years $1,500 civil penalty and 30 day license suspension;
        (c) (d)     The city council may request that the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission conduct a hearing concerning the operation of any establishment licensed pursuant to this Chapter. The commission shall conduct any hearings so requested.
                Section 2.     That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days from and after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance sets forth the types of sanctions that the city council may impose against a liquor license holder for law violations and other misconduct set forth in this section. It also sets forth presumptive penalties for first, second, third and fourth violations within a one or two year period of time. This ordinance has been approved by the alcohol, gambling and tobacco commission at its May 8, 2001, meeting.