State Rep Files Lawsuit To Overturn Liquor License

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Updated: September 19, 2015

 

EAST END – The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board will be defending itself from a lawsuit filed Friday by two politicians and a local daycare. State Representative Julie Mayberry (R-East End), her husband former Rep. Andy Mayberry, and Rita Dillon, owner of Dillon Family Daycare LLC took action in Saline County Circuit Court, where they will ask a judge to overturn the recent permit awarded to Dr. Harry Bryant for construction of a liquor store.

Andy and Julie Mayberry

Andy and Julie Mayberry

The store would be constructed at 20218 Arch Street, where plaintiffs say two daycares are located in close proximity. The suit states that Dillon’s daycare is within 900 feet of the location, while the Wiggles and Giggles Daycare is some 350 feet away. Both Andy and Julie Mayberry attended the hearings over the summer where the licenses were approved and granted.

Click Here To Read Lawsuit In It’s Entirety

At the hearings, Andy Mayberry testified that most of the East End community had voted against the sale of liquor in the county-wide election last year. He also cited what he perceived personnel shortages within the Saline County Sheriff’s Department as a safety concern, stating that if the permit was granted for operation of a liquor store, that it was likely that crime would go up as a result.

In the same hearing, Rep. Julie Mayberry took Bryant to task for what she saw as a failure to properly notify citizens of the county his intentions of participating in the application process. She noted that one requirement is that a declaration must be published in a local newspaper, and that Bryant had purchased his legal advertisement in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette which does not maintain an office or local presence in Saline County. Mayberry also noted that the remaining 21 applicants had given notice in the Saline Courier, which she believed met the requirements set forth by the Alcohol Beverage Control board. The ABC board would later state that the Arkansas Democrat Gazette maintains a circulation office on Alcoa Road, which has been in operation for some 15 years.

Sheriff Rodney Wright went on record with the board to indicate that he did not have any objection or safety concerns about the proposed location.

Despite the lack of hesitancy from Wright, plaintiffs say both daycares qualify as a school house, given their licensed status by the state, and an educational setting. The complaint cites an opinion from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who went so far as to reference a case in Arizona, in which a football stadium was found to meet the legal definition of a schoolhouse because of the educational nature of the games played there.

The plaintiffs have asked the court to revoke the license granted to Bryant, and to allow for additional evidence to be presented during a period of judicial review. They are represented by Joseph Gates of the Paul Byrd Law Firm in Little Rock.

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