Perkins pulls request for Pump hearing

PERKINS TWP. Perkins Township officials and a bar owner have settled theirdifferences.
May 24, 2010



Perkins Township officials and a bar owner have settled theirdifferences.

Township trustees withdrew a request for a hearing with theDivision of Liquor Control todiscuss overcrowding issues at The Pump Bar and Grille, according to an April 28 letter from the trustees to the state agency.

Fire officials emptied the bar March 1 after receiving a complaint of overcrowding, according a report from the Perkins fire department. Pump owner Rebecca Stock told fire officials there were 240 people in the bar at one time, a number that exceeded the bar's maximum occupancy of 201, the report said.

Stock and her attorney formulated a plan to remedy overcrowding at the bar and presented it to the Perkins Township fire department.

The creation of the plan was enough to satisfy trustees that the meeting with the liquor control board was not necessary, the letter said.

"The initial complaint, violation of the fire code, has either beencorrected or is in the process of being corrected to the satisfaction of the fire department and Board of Trustees," the letter said.

Stock was "happy" to hear of the trustees' move. "We are looking at smooth sailing from here on out," she said.

Trustees scheduled the meeting when Stock requested a change of corporate stock ownership.

The bar's former half-owner, Robert J. Highley, died and Stock wanted to buy his half of thebusiness and take ownership of the liquor license.

Matt Mullins, a spokesman for the Division of Liquor Control, said the stock transfer has been approved.

"She holds all shares. She is the sole owner now," Mullins said.

Stock still faces possible gambling charges in connection with an April 11 raid on the business conducted jointly by the Perkins Township police and agents from the Ohio Department of Public Safety's investigative unit.

The bar was cited for fourgambling violations and two unsanitary condition violations, said Julie Hinds, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety.

A gambling machine was confiscated, according to a police report. Two patrons were also cited by police, one for underage consumption and the other for furnishing alcohol, the police report said.

Stock will face a hearing on those charges in front of the Ohio Liquor Control Commission -- a three-person panel appointed by the governor.

The panel could fine the bar,suspend or revoke The Pump's liquor license or dismiss the charges, Mullins said.

The state attorney's general schedules the date for the hearing, according to Herb Braverman, executive director for the liquor control commission.

A hearing date has not been set as of yet, Braverman said.

The investigative unit will also recommend that the Sandusky city prosecutor file charges of gambling and operating a gambling house against Stock, Hinds said.

Stock believes she'll beat thegambling charges. She said thecompany that provided the machine will aid her in the defense.