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Legones v. License Appeal Commission

OCTOBER 21, 1968.

MARCO LEGONES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

LICENSE APPEAL COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A.L. CRONIN, CHAIRMAN, AND RICHARD J. DALEY, LOCAL LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSIONER OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



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

MR. JUSTICE MURPHY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

This is an administrative review action in which the Circuit Court affirmed the revocation of plaintiff's City of Chicago retail liquor license for premises at 4804 1/2 North Sheridan Road, Chicago. On appeal, plaintiff contends that the findings and decision of the Local Liquor Control Commissioner are against the manifest weight of the evidence.

The order of revocation, entered by the Local Liquor Control Commissioner of the City of Chicago on November 1, 1966, made the following findings:

1. That on January 6, 1966, during an altercation on the licensed premises, Devon C. Phillips, a patron on said premises, was assaulted by one Gene Jacobs, an employee of the licensee, in violation of the ordinances of the City of Chicago and the statutes of the State of Illinois.

2. That the licensee and his agents failed to protect said patron, failed to render aid to said victim and failed to notify the Police Department of said altercation.

3. That on April 23, 1966, Robert L. Willnow, bartender on the licensed premises, sold alcoholic liquor to a person under the age of 21 years, one Anthony G. Nahguaddy, a male 19 years, in violation of the ordinances of the City of Chicago and statutes of the State of Illinois.

4. That the licensee and his agents did on or about the 28th day of May 1966, serve alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person, one Wayne Titchywy, a patron on said premises, in violation of the ordinances of the City of Chicago and statutes of the State of Illinois.

The License Appeal Commission of the City of Chicago sustained the revocation order, and on February 14, 1967, a judgment order was entered in the Circuit Court which affirmed the order of the License Appeal Commission. This is the judgment from which the plaintiff has appealed.

The only issue on this appeal is whether the findings are supported by substantial evidence in the light of the whole record. Under the Administrative Review Act, the findings and conclusions of the local commissioner on questions of fact are held to be prima facie true and correct (Ill Rev Stats 1965, c 110, § 274). The reviewing court is limited to a consideration of the record to determine if the findings and orders of the local commissioner are against the manifest weight of the evidence. Nechi v. Daley, 40 Ill. App.2d 326, 336, 188 N.E.2d 243 (1963).

Considered first is the finding (1) that Phillips, a patron, was assaulted by Gene Jacobs, an employee of the licensee. At the hearing before the Liquor Control Commission, Police Officer Thomas Ahlford testified that on January 6, 1966, he had occasion to go to the premises at 4804 1/2 North Sheridan Road, and outside of the doorway he met Devon Phillips, who was bruised and bleeding about the mouth and his shirt was ripped. The officer and Phillips entered the tavern, and Phillips pointed out Gene Jacobs as the person who struck him. Jacobs said he was a bouncer and admitted that "he laid his hands" upon Phillips. While at the tavern, George Lardis told the police officer he was the owner of the place, and Phillips had been in the place before and had always caused trouble with the patrons. Phillips told the officer it was his first visit to Chicago, and he had never been in the place before.

The police officer took Christy (the bartender), Jacobs, Lardis and Phillips to the district police station, where Officer Daniel Pappas questioned all of them. Officer Pappas testified that Phillips said he had been refused another beer, and Jacobs and the bartender punched him and threw him outside. Phillips then called the police. Jacobs said he assaulted Phillips because Phillips was trying to cause trouble. Christy said he refused to serve Phillips another beer because he had enough. An argument ensued, and Christy assisted Jacobs in ejecting Phillips.

Officer Pappas further testified that Lardis said he was the owner and Jacobs was the bouncer. Lardis said Legones was the licensee, but he didn't know where Legones was. Phillips did not want to sign a complaint. Officer Ahlford testified that Phillips had gone back to Mississippi the day after the occurrence.

Marco Legones, the licensee, was called as a Commission witness for the purposes of cross-examination and testified he was the licensee and sole owner of the tavern at 4804 1/2 North Sheridan Road, and that he also owned another tavern. He was not in the tavern on January 6, 1966, when a ...


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