No excuses: Owner to pay fines

Excuses Lounge agrees to pay more than $45,000 in smoking fines
Sandusky Register Staff
Mar 2, 2014
There are no more excuses for the Excuses Lounge.

The neighborhood tavern at Columbus Avenue and Strub Road, faced with the loss of its liquor license, has agreed to pay about $45,000 in fines and penalties for violations of Ohio’s smoking law that stretch over several years.

Excuses owner Terry L. Smith signed the settlement agreement Dec. 31, admitting the violations and agreeing to pay back fines and obey Ohio’s no-smoking laws. Erie County’s health commissioner, Pete Schade, announced the agreement when he met with the county’s health board on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Smith agreed to pay $5,000 by Jan. 1.

He is then supposed to pay $1,158.34 on the first of the month, every month, beginning Feb. 1, with all fines due to be paid in full by Jan. 1, 2017. In the meantime, however, the balance due will grow as collection costs and interest continue to pile up.   

Erie County’s health department is supposed to get 90 percent of that to help the department pay for its enforcement costs, Schade told the board.

As of Friday, the health department had not received any money, said Joe Palmucci, the health department’s top fiscal officer.

Schade said he believes the settlement is fair, and will make Smith pay for some of the extra profit he gained by allowing smoking.

Schade contends bar owners who looked the other way while patrons lit up gave themselves a competitive advantage over bars that followed the law and did not allow smoking.

Smith did not return a telephone call to Excuses asking for comment.

The settlement reveals Smith apparently settled in order to keep his liquor license.

The attorney general’s office asked the Ohio Division of Liquor Control not to renew Excuses’ liquor license, citing 13 violations from 2007 to 2011, which allegedly showed Smith’s “disregard for the law”

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission voted on Nov. 18, 2013, to yank Excuses’ liquor license. Excuses’ attorney then asked the state health department to settle the matter.

If Smith doesn’t follow the agreement, the attorney general’s office can seek a court order and can again seek to pull the bar’s liquor permit.

Smoking violations and fines at Excuses Lounge
 
Here are the 13 violations the attorney general’s office listed for violations of the Smoke Free Act at Excuses Lounge:
•Aug. 28, 2007, letter of warning. Ashtray found at the scene.
•Nov. 8, 2007, smoking, $100 fine, paid in full. Ashtray was present.
•June 30, 2009, smoking and inadequate signs, $500 fine.
•Sept. 4, 2009, $1,000 fine, smoking and ashtray present.
•Jan. 5, 2010, smoking, $2,500 fine.
•Feb. 19, 2010, smoking, ashtray present, no signs posted, $2,500 fine.
•April 8, 2010, smoking, ashtray present, inadequate signs, $2,500 fine.
•June 7, 2010, smoking, inadequate signs, $2,500 fine.
•July 15, 2010, smoking, ashtray present, no signs posted, $2,500 fine.
•Sept. 27, 2010, smoking, ashtray present, $2,500 fine.
•Oct. 19, 2010, smoking, ashtray present, $2,500 fine.
•Dec. 28, 2010, smoking, $2,500 fine.
•June 2, 2011, smoking, ashtray present, $2,500 fine.

As of Nov. 7, 2013, Excuses Lounge owed a total of $45,541.84:
Fines, $24,000; attorney general interest, $2,017.04, collection costs, $19,524.10.
 
The total will grow as collection costs and interest continue to accrue.

Source: Settlement agreement released by Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Comments

Contango

Wonderful to see that the govt. thugs are successfully operating their shakedown racket.

"Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them."

- "Atlas Shrugged"

Informed

We voted for this. No one has the right to poison someone else.

You are nothing but an anarchist.

Licorice Schtick

Close. Not an anarchist.

oher332

||||| Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. It's a great work at home opportunity. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. Linked here http://Pow6.com

Contango

Re: "No one has the right to poison someone else."

So do you frequent this establishment?

Who's forcing you to go into bars?

"Anarchist"?

You don't even know what it means do you?

You got it from the likes of Harry Reid and other progressive-socialists. lol

"Freedom is Slavery" - "Nineteen Eight-Four"

coasterfan

I agree w/Informed. No one has the right to poison someone else.

Contango

Re: "No one has the right to poison someone else."

So while you were in this bar someone tried to poison you?

Date and time?

The Big Dog's back

Meltdown.

SamAdams

True. On the other hand, what you choose to do on your own property is (or should be) YOUR business. Don't smoke? Don't enjoy second-hand smoke, either? Go to a non-smoking bar. Don't want to work in a smoky restaurant? Get a job in a non-smoking restaurant. And as an added free market bonus, if smoking establishments didn't have customers and/or couldn't find employees, they'd either close or convert to non-smoking.

The issue isn't whether or not smoking is bad for you (including the issue of second-hand smoke). The real issue is private property rights and whether or not you have any. Certainly a case might be made that, even if you're dumping raw sewage into the river on YOUR property, it flows onto that of others thus infringing THEIR rights. But how smoking in a closed environment that you're not in has a negative health effect on you remains beyond me. What doesn't? The fact that the nanny state is busy not only telling us what is and isn't good for you, but is refusing to let you decide, based on the facts, what risks you accept. And all the while it does, it's usurping other of your rights.

looking around

The smoke free environment that most patrons enjoy was a bi product of the law that was passed to protect the employees that work in the establishment and formerly had to breath the stench that the smoking patrons maintained for the entire shift they worked.

holysee

Thank you for giving us that Randian look inside. Have you installed new bags on your tricorn yet for the upcoming protest season?
Doctor Parkinson declared 'I'm not surprised to see you here
You've got smokers cough from smoking brewer's droop from drinking beer
I don't know how you came to get the Bette Davis knees
But worst of all young man you've got teabägger Disease'

rottnrog

"Schade said he believes the settlement is fair, and will make Smith pay for some of the extra profit he gained by allowing smoking."

But I thought the state said that the smoking ban would not hurt business !!!

DickTracey

Hey, rotten, DUH!

The smoking ban has NOT hurt the businesses that obeyed the law! The idiots like this who continued to ignore the law are the only bars to suffer, and not because they lost business.

Have you tried to get in Manny's on a Friday night? There is no where to park, and you have to wait for an empty table.

Contango

Re: "The smoking ban has NOT hurt the businesses that obeyed the law!"

So the overwhelming determining factor for the oppression of freedom of expression is whether it's profitable or not?

Several states do not have smoking bans. Why was such action necessary in OH?

Obviously Ohioans are just too stupid to know what's good for them and need the State to control 'em.

JudgeMeNot

RE; Obviously Ohioans are just too stupid to know what's good for them and need the State to control 'em.

Toaster and dog are proof of that.

rottnrog

Hey Dickey... What part of this don't you understand ?? Need help???

"extra profit he gained by allowing smoking."

deertracker

Didn't the people vote on this? Why are you calling the enforcers of a law voted on by the people thugs? Shakedown? They must serve Kessler's there. Nevermind!

Contango

Re: "Didn't the people,"

Reeks of: Tyranny of the majority.

58.3% of voters approved of the use of State sanctioned oppression.

Just scr*w the other 41.7%.

The Big Dog's back

That's the Repub way right pooh? Obama won the election 52% to 47% and you still think Repubs should rule.

Contango

Re: "Obama," "Repubs" ????

“Always trying to hijack a thread for your warped mind.”

- The Big Dog's back, Mar. 2, 2014

coasterfan

Yup, that's Contango. He could be the only person on the planet with his particular point of view, and he still pontificates as if he is the majority viewpoint. It must be neat to live with such smug self-assurance that you're absolutely certain that you're always right, and everyone else is always wrong. Rolls eyes.

Contango

Re: "outlier points of view,"

To an authoritarian-totalitarian Statist such as you, classical liberalism would appear that way.

The Big Dog's back

pooh in meltdown.

Contango

Re: "meltdown"

You need to be let outside to piddle AGAIN, lil' fella?

You just wanna go out and chase the squirrels don't you? :)

Pterocarya frax...

Texas is calling. Please go...and hurry.

Contango

lol

Was there last wk. 75º Sweet!

Even the MOST ignorant, dumbed-down liberal Yankee oughta know: TX has internet.

coasterfan

The most liberal, dumbed-down liberal Yankee wouldn't stay that way long. He would be recruited by the TeaParty within 2 nanoseconds and become a card-carrying Republican.

Hmm. That must be why I don't know any dumb liberals.

coasterfan

The most liberal, dumbed-down liberal Yankee wouldn't stay that way long. He would be recruited by the TeaParty within 2 nanoseconds and become a card-carrying Republican.

Hmm. That must be why I don't know any dumb liberals.

Contango

Re: "I don't know any dumb liberals."

Yes you do; YOU posted the same nonsense TWICE.

Too rich! lol

usmc21

Looking at the dates of citations it clearly shows that this bar was being stalked. I am not a smoker but do not agree with this at all. Bars should be exempt and if you go to a bar that allows smoking and you don’t like it then stay home and drink.

Pages