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O'donnell v. Illinois Liquor Control Comm.

OCTOBER 1, 1969.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EDWARD F. HEALY, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.


Plaintiff, Richard O'Donnell, d/b/a Turf Lounge, filed a statutory action in the Circuit Court under the Administrative Review Act, Ill Rev Stats, c 110, §§ 264-279 (1967), to review the order of defendant, Illinois Liquor Control Commission, revoking plaintiff's liquor license. The court affirmed the order of the Commission and this appeal followed.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission citation served upon plaintiff to show cause why his license should not be suspended or revoked alleged the following violations of Revised Rule 3 of the Rules and Regulations of the Commission:

(1) Licensee did in violation of Article X, § 1, secure a State Retail liquor license by false and fraudulent application, to wit: licensee did falsely answer application by stating he had never made previous application for a retail liquor license when, in fact, he made previous application as a corporate officer of a corporate licensee;

(2) Licensee violated Article VI, § 20 by wilfully obscuring the view of the licensed premises; *fn1

(3) Licensee is ineligible to hold a license in Cicero as his application shows that he is a resident of Lincolnwood, Illinois, a violation of Article VI, § 2. *fn2

The Commission found that the evidence adduced at the hearing did not support the charge that plaintiff secured a State Retail liquor license by a false and fraudulent application; however, the Commission did find that the evidence supported the charges of wilfully obscuring the view of the premises and the ineligibility of the plaintiff to hold a license because of non-residency and these findings were affirmed by the Circuit Court.

Plaintiff contends there is no substantial evidence in the record to establish that he wilfully violated the statutory requirement for an unobstructed view of the licensed premises. He also contends that he was denied fair treatment in the revocation of his license for non-residency.

Officer Donald Konley of the Cook County Sheriff's Police testified that on August 9, 1967, he went to the plaintiff's tavern at about 11:15 in the evening and observed two large windows on either side of the entrance. He observed that striped bamboo drapes were completely drawn the full length and width of all the windows and thus he could not see through them. At the entrance of the tavern there were a pair of doors with full length frosted glass, except for 14-inch clear glass portholes in the upper half; upon entering the tavern there was a vestibule and another pair of doors with the same type of frosted glass and similar portholes. The portholes in the two sets of doors were not directly in line when viewed from the outside, and only afforded a view of a small portion of the interior floor. The Commission and plaintiff both introduced photographs into evidence regarding the charge of wilfully obstructing the view of the interior of the premises. These photographs were made available to this court.

Two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified that they had a conversation with plaintiff on July 31, 1967, and he advised them that he lived in Lincolnwood, Illinois, for the previous 29 years and had never lived in Cicero, Illinois. An official of Cook County Clerk's office produced plaintiff's original voters' registration card which reflected his address at Lincolnwood, Illinois; certified copies of plaintiff's application for a driver's license and title to his automobile issued by the Secretary of State, State of Illinois, were also admitted into evidence showing plaintiff's residence to be in Lincolnwood, Illinois.


Although plaintiff admits his residency at Lincolnwood, Illinois, he argues that the Commission is unfair in revoking his license because the local commissioner made no objection to the residency of plaintiff outside the town of Cicero and he never concealed his Lincolnwood residence when he filled out his application for a liquor license.

The record reflects that approximately two months after the license was issued to plaintiff, the Illinois Liquor Commission commenced the instant proceedings. The Liquor Commission has original jurisdiction to institute revocation proceedings even though the licensee has both a local and state liquor license. Pliakos v. Illinois Liquor Control Commission, 12 Ill. App.2d 170, 175, 138 N.E.2d 862 (1956).

The fact that the local commissioner issued the license with knowledge that plaintiff was not a resident of the town of Cicero as required by law, does not ...

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