[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish officials should follow rules on liquor license: An editorial

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Wed Jul 4 19:06:35 EDT 2012

St. Bernard Parish officials should follow rules on liquor license: An

Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 7:39 AM Updated: Tuesday, July 03,
2012, 8:53 AM

By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune

Parish officials are usually the ones meting out discipline when bar owners
fail to comply with the rules. But in St. Bernard Parish, two local
officials are part of the problem. That warrants scrutiny from local and
state agencies, which need to hold these officials accountable.

The state on Friday shut down a new Chalmette bar owned by Councilman George
Cavignac and parish public works official Craig Smith because they were
operating the establishment without proper state and parish liquor permits.

The two officials purchased the bar from businessman Desi Romano on June 1
through a limited liability company named GC3. The officials registered that
firm with the state on May 31. Councilman Cavignac confirmed that he and Mr.
Smith have been operating the bar, located at 308 E. Judge Perez Dr., since
the day of the purchase under the name the Drunken Monkey.

Councilman Cavignac said they were simply managing the bar under Mr.
Romano's state and parish liquor permits in a transitional agreement that's
allowed by state law. But the councilman said he forgot to include the
transitional agreement in an application for a state permit that he said he
submitted last Tuesday. On Friday, an enforcement agent of the Louisiana
Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control closed the bar. In the meantime, Mr.
Romano has been operating his Desi Romano's Sports Bar a few blocks away.

Councilman Cavignac called the episode "a glitch in the paperwork" and said
he would be filing proper documents this week in hopes of reopening his bar
for the July Fourth holiday.

But the Parish Council and the state need to review this situation
carefully. The council is scheduled to consider today whether to approve a
beer and liquor permit for the Drunken Monkey. Councilman Cavignac said he
will abstain from voting on the license for his own business, as he should.

His colleagues need to make sure they understand the facts and make sure
that all parties comply with the rules before approving a license. State
officials, who will have to determine when the bar can reopen, also need to
make sure all the paperwork is in order before the establishment is allowed
to go back into business.

Governments require everyone selling alcohol to meet certain requirements as
a safeguard to consumers and the community in general. Public officials who
want to run a bar should understand that and make sure they comply with
those rules.

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