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Rincon v. License Appeal Com.

OPINION FILED JULY 6, 1978.

JOSE RINCON, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

LICENSE APPEAL COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. RAYMOND K. BERG, Judge, presiding. MR. JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Jose Rincon appeals from a judgment of the circuit court of Cook County entered in an action under the Administrative Review Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 110, par. 264 et seq.) The judgment affirmed a decision of the License Appeal Commission of the City of Chicago which sustained the revocation of plaintiff's liquor license by the local liquor control commissioner.

On appeal, Rincon contends: (1) that article VII, section 8 of the Dramshop Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 43, par. 153) creates an unconstitutional classification by providing different procedures based on population for reviewing revocation orders of local liquor control commissioners; (2) that the local liquor control commissioner lost jurisdiction because he failed to render his decision within the five-day period prescribed by article VII, section 5 of the Dramshop Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 43, par. 149); and (3) that the commissioner's decision was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.

We affirm the trial court.

On March 9, 1973, proceedings were commenced before the local liquor control commissioner of the City of Chicago to revoke the retail liquor license of plaintiff, Jose Rincon. While several charges were filed against Rincon, the local liquor control commissioner found him guilty of three:

1. That on October 7, 1972, the licensee, JOSE RINCON, by and through his agent, ROBERT TITWELL, during an altercation on the licensed premises, committed an aggravated battery upon GUADALUPE DIAZ, a patron of said premises, contrary to Chap. 38, § 12-4, Ill. Rev. Stat., 1971, the Municipal Code of Chicago and Rules of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

7. That on January 8, 1973, the licensee, JOSE RINCON, was in possession of an unregistered weapon on the licensed premises, to wit: a .38 caliber handgun, serial #D477899, contrary to Chap. 11.1, § 11.1-7 of the Municipal Code of Chicago and Rules of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

8. That on February 24, 1973, the licensee, JOSE RINCON, by and through his agent, JUAN FLORES, a guard, knowingly committed a battery upon MANUEL SALAZER, a patron on the licensed premises, contrary to Chap. 38, § 12-3(a), (1), Ill. Rev. Stat., 1971, Ordinances of the City of Chicago and Rules of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

The pertinent facts in regard to each charge are as follows:

Charge No. 1

Two Chicago police officers testified that at 2 a.m. on October 27, 1972, they responded to a call that a man had been shot in Lucy's Lounge, Rincon's liquor establishment. When they entered the lounge they saw Guadalupe Diaz lying on the floor shot in the chest. Robert Titwell, wearing a blue security guard's uniform, walked up to the police officers, handed them a revolver and stated "I shot a man, here's my gun."

At the police station, Titwell told an investigator that he was employed as a security guard at Lucy's Lounge. He explained that two women requested he stop Diaz from annoying them. When Titwell asked Diaz to desist, Diaz hit Titwell in the face. A struggle ensued and Diaz was knocked down. When Diaz got to his feet Titwell shot him.

Rincon testified that he paid a security service company, Protective Patrol, to furnish him with security guards for his lounge. The guards carried weapons while on duty and wore blue uniforms similar to those worn by the Chicago police.

Charge No. 7

Two Chicago police officers testified that at 4:10 a.m. on January 8, 1973, they were hailed from the street by someone in the doorway of Lucy's Lounge. When the officers entered they saw seven to 10 people, one of whom was Jose Rincon. The officers informed the people they had to leave because it was past the 4 a.m. closing time. Rincon refused. Unaware that Rincon was the licensee of the premises, the officers again asked him to leave. When Rincon again refused, he was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct and searched. The search uncovered a ...


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