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Park Liquors v. Illinois Liquor Control Comm.

MARCH 24, 1970.

PARK LIQUORS, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

ILLINOIS LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



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

MR. JUSTICE BURKE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied May 8, 1970.

In a proceeding filed pursuant to the Administrative Review Act, the trial court affirmed an order entered by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission revoking plaintiff's state retail liquor license.

On appeal plaintiff contends that prior action by the Local Liquor Control Commissioner of Schiller Park (Local Commissioner) in suspending plaintiff's local retail liquor license for a period of three weeks, preempted the jurisdiction of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (State Commission) to act in the matter; that the determination by the Local Commissioner was res judicata as to all questions raised in that proceeding; that the determination by the State Commission was not supported by substantial evidence; and that the Citation and Notice of Hearing filed by the State Commission did not charge plaintiff with the violation of any appropriate section of the Illinois Liquor Control Act.

Park Liquors, Inc., operated a retail tavern business in Schiller Park, Illinois, under the name of Park Liquors. The entire capital stock of the plaintiff was owned by Joseph Lachajczyk and his wife.

Pursuant to a Citation and Notice of Hearing filed against plaintiff by the State Commission, a hearing was conducted on June 18, 1968 on the following charges:

"1) In that the licensee and/or his employee did on April 1, 1968 and April 12, 1968 permit gambling on the licensed premises which is a violation of Section 184, Chapter 43, Illinois Revised Statutes, 1967.

"2) Further, that the licensee and/or his employee did, on April 12, 1968 permit and participate in the possession and distribution of obscene motion picture films containing obscenity."

At the outset of the hearing, plaintiff moved for a dismissal of the proceeding on the grounds that the charges set out in the Citation and Notice of Hearing had been the subject of a hearing and a determination before the Local Commissioner on June 5, 1968; that the State Commission therefore lacked jurisdiction of the subject matter; and that the Local Commissioner's determination was res judicata as to all matters raised in that earlier proceeding. Entered into evidence at that point in the hearing was a copy of the order entered by the Local Commissioner, finding facts in language which was identical to that of the charges contained in the Citation and Notice of Hearing filed by the State Commission. Plaintiff's motion was denied by the State Commission and evidence was taken in support of the charges contained in the Citation and Notice of Hearing.

Cook County Sheriff's Police Officer Donald Shaw testified that he and his partner, Officer Lundgren, entered the Park Liquors tavern on April 1, 1968, in the course of their official duties. Officer Shaw testified that he was dressed as a construction worker. He and his partner took seats at the bar and engaged one of the patrons seated there in a conversation concerning the possibility of the officers' procuring obscene moving pictures. The patron, whose name the officer stated was "Dick," told the officers to contact a person named "Art Rudelek."

Officer Shaw testified that he thereafter contacted Rudelek by telephone and made arrangements for the purchase of five rolls of obscene moving picture film on April 12th. The two officers met with Rudelek on April 12th at the Park Liquors tavern, at which time they were introduced by Rudelek to two bartenders employed by Park Liquors, John Boronski and Ronald Phillip.

Officer Shaw testified that he gave Rudelek $75, in return for which he received a brown paper bag containing five rolls of moving picture film from bartender Phillip. The officer testified that after he paid Rudelek the money, he observed Phillip remove the bag containing the films from a cabinet under a bar where the liquor supply was stored, which was positioned behind the bar at which the patrons were served, and that Phillip physically delivered the bag to the officer.

Officer Shaw further testified that he, Officer Lundgren and Rudelek then went to the men's washroom where they viewed a portion of the films by stripping the film from the roll and holding it against the light in the washroom. The officer testified that he and his partner "were satisfied with the purchase" and returned to their seats at the bar.

The officer testified that after the purchase was completed, Rudelek stated to him that if he or his partner desired any film in the future, they should leave the money therefor at the bar with either of the two bartenders and the film would be waiting for them in two days at the bar. The officer identified the five rolls of film which he and Officer Lundgren purchased on April 12th, which ...


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