City Attorney, Chief Directed To Negotiate Settlement With Tavern Over Infraction

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Administrative Committee Monday night directed the city attorney and police chief to negotiate a settlement agreement with the owner of a Madison Street bar owner in danger of losing its liquor license. In June, Johnny’s Lounge was assessed 230 points under the city’s Demerit Point Ordinance for a closing-time fight. That includes 80 points because the police were allegedly not notified and an additional 150 as an enhancer because there was reportedly an injury involved. The injured person told police that he attempted to intervene in a fight between and man and a woman when a second male – thought to be a friend of the couple – sucker punched the victim, knocking out a tooth. City Attorney Mary Ann Schacht says the owner has been very cooperative and has trained all her employees about calling police as soon as possible when a situation arises. She noted a recent incident at the bar that was avoided because staff immediately contacted law enforcement. Schacht did not reveal the direction she might take but the ordinance allows for not only revocation but also for suspension of a liquor license for anywhere between ten days and six months. The committee agreed by consensus to allow Schacht to move forward with a possible settlement, though Alderwoman Kay Appenfeldt indicated that she did not want to see the business experience a license suspension. Any settlement would be a recommendation that would have to come back to the committee, which is expected at their August meeting. If no settlement is reached, a police officer who responded to the incident would be expected to file a complaint with the city, sparking a hearing similar to a court trial before the Administrative Committee. Any recommendation of the committee would then require common council approval. The city adopted a demerit point ordinance in 2009 to better manage drinking establishments that break the law. Taverns that accumulate 200 points in a rolling 18-month period could have their license suspended or revoked.