Liquor fines don't add up

September 14, 2013 

The mayor of East St. Louis is the city's liquor commissioner. He also appointed himself to the Liquor Commission and has strong influence on rules, fines and penalties for liquor establishments. This includes appointing precinct committeemen and others who tend to follow his ruling.

A case in point would involve Club 103. The murder that occurred outside on the parking lot was in view of the Police Department. The Liquor Commission fined Club 103 $1,500 and suspended its license for one month. This brings to question the recent ruling of the mayor and commission for the murder that occurred in back at Denese's Place with 50 people sitting outside. This club received a $500 fine and a two-week suspension.

If the mayor and council had standard policies and procedures in place for violence and murders at clubs, this type of variance in fines and closures would not be called into question. The decision of fines and penalties solely rests on the determination of the Liquor Commission and the mayor, who is the liquor commissioner.

Considering the constant pressure of the mayor promoting and supporting nightlife activities, there is a definite need to have more police presence surrounding clubs to prevent violence. Since the council fails to question the mayor, it makes you wonder who is in control. If policies and procedures are not in place, who knows if the fines are actually being collected?

Dorothy Joshway

East St. Louis

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