(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night approved a 15-day suspension of the liquor license for a Beaver Dam tavern that violated the city’s demerit point ordinance. The city’s Administrative Committee last month recommended the suspension for Johnny’s Lounge stemming from a closing time fight this past June. The police chief and a lieutenant with the department filed a complaint against the bar under the ordinance, which allows for suspension or revocation of drinking establishments that may violate city standards.
In the months since the violation, city officials have seen failed negotiations, the rejection of a recommendation to revoke the license and a revisiting of that rejection. At one point, the owner of Johnny’s Lounge rejected an offer to close for three days.
The attorney for Johnny’s Lounge, Brent Eisberner (pictured), was given the opportunity Monday night to submit written and oral objections. Those objections include procedural issues with the voting process at the committee level; the allowance of unchallenged testimony; constitutional violations; and unequal application of the demerit point ordinance from business-to-business.
The attorney representing the city, Michael Devitt with QBS Law, says issues with the procedural process are irrelevant. Devitt noted that at no time has the tavern disputed the actions identified within the complaint.
Eisberner confirmed Monday night that in addition to challenging the decision at the circuit court-level, a civil lawsuit will be filed in federal court. He says that in addition to the city, the suit will also name the complainants, Police Chief John Kreuziger and Lt. Matt Reil, who could each be held personally liable.
The penalty will not be enacted until after the appeals process has been completed.
Listen to the proceedings here: