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Daley v. License Appeal Commission

DECEMBER 7, 1964.

RICHARD J. DALEY, MAYOR, LOCAL LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSIONER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

LICENSE APPEAL COMMISSION, A.L. CRONIN, CHAIRMAN, ET AL., AND JAMES DASSOURAS, LICENSEE, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DONALD S. McKINLAY, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE KLUCZYNSKI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

The Mayor, as Local Liquor Control Commissioner of the City of Chicago, appeals from a circuit court judgment confirming the License Appeal Commission's reversal of the Mayor's order of license revocation.

The Mayor instituted proceedings to revoke the liquor license of James Dassouras on eight charges of violating the statutes of the State of Illinois and the ordinances of the City of Chicago, each charge relating to a separate instance and date. After a hearing of all the charges, the Mayor made no finding regarding seven, but as to the eighth charge did find:

That on April 10, 1963 John Christenson, bartender on the licensed premises, permitted a female on said premises . . . to solicit a police officer on said premises to engage in acts of prostitution in violation of the statutes of the State of Illinois and the ordinances of the City of Chicago.

On the basis of the finding the Mayor issued an order revoking the local liquor license. In reversing the order of revocation the License Appeal Commission found that the order was not supported by substantial evidence in the light of the whole record.

A police officer of the City of Chicago testified that on April 10, 1963 he entered the licensee's premises in civilian garb at about 1:15 a.m. He took a seat at the bar. There were 15 to 20 patrons in the tavern and they were being served by two bartenders. After the officer was served a drink by the bartender, John Christenson, a female approached and stood at the bar at his left side. Christenson was at all times within 3 or 4 feet of the officer. After the female stood there and spoke to him for about one and a half minutes, the officer ordered drinks for both of them which were served by Christenson. He said that as the bartender was standing right in front of them the female conversed in ordinary conversational tones. He invited her to have another drink and, being served, she sat down next to him. While Christenson was standing 3 feet away from them, the girl proposed a little party and the officer assented. Christenson "was just standing there, watching the bar and serving customers who indicated they wanted drinks. I did not recall if there was any music at that particular time. I was concentrating on my conversation with" the female. She quoted him a price of $10 and $3 for a room saying she would "give him a lay." He accepted and she told him that she would meet him on the corner. As she left the tavern the officer called Christenson over and said "Listen, buddy, this girl wants to give me a lay. Is she clean?" Christenson answered "Yes, she is okay. Stop back in." The officer then left to meet the girl. After placing the girl under arrest, he and fellow officers returned and placed a charge of keeping a house of prostitution against both bartenders. They also arrested three girls for loitering as prostitutes. In court, leave to file these charges was denied.

On cross-examination the officer said he did not know whether Christenson was paying any attention to any part of the conversation he had with the girl but "I would say that he did hear part of it. I do not know the part he heard." He did not say to the bartender that she solicited him for prostitution. An offer of a "lay" without the mention of money, would not be prostitution. He did not tell Christenson that the girl wanted to go to a room with him. He did not tell the bartender that she was talking improperly to him.

Christenson testified that he saw the officer and the girl in the tavern that night. The juke box was playing "quite loud" and he was busy. He was standing in the middle of the bar but with the loud noise he could not hear anything. When the girl got up to leave the officer said "You meet a lot of nice people here" and he answered "you sure do." The officer asked "Is she okay." He was busy and it was noisy and when the officer said that, he said "Sure she is, why not?" He then went about waiting on customers. He was getting busy then. He denied that the officer told him that she wanted to give him a "lay."

The Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev Stats 1963, c 38, §§ 11-14, 15) provides:

11-14 Prostitution. (a) Any person who performs, offers or agrees to perform any of the following acts for money commits an act of prostitution:

(1) Any act of sexual intercourse; or

(2) Any act of deviate sexual conduct.

11-15 Soliciting for a Prostitute.

(a) Any person who performs any of the following acts commits ...


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