Commonwealth Journal

Local News

October 6, 2013

Ruling on alcoholic licenses expected

Somerset wants 5 additional outlets

Somerset —

The City of Somerset’s ongoing battle to secure additional liquor store licenses took another step forward this week in Pulaski Circuit Court.
According to information pro-vided by attorney Charles Cole, who is representing Somerset in the case for the law firm Sturgill, Turner, Barker & Moloney, PLLC, a written ruling may be made in the case before long based on the events of the hearing held this past Monday.
In August, the City of Somerset re-filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in an attempt to “(ask) the judge to clarify the law,” according to Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler.
The state agency has ruled that Somerset only qualifies for five quota licenses for possible wine and distilled spirit retailers, while Somerset is arguing that they should be able to issue more such licenses to interested entre-preneurs.
Somerset and the ABC had worked out a deal earlier this year following the first legal action Somerset took against the state agency, but that arrangement was thrown into tumult by a state legislative subcommittee’s decision to find the ABC’s regulations deficient.
According to the statement issued from Cole, who provided information to the Commonwealth Journal via Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese, a motion to dismiss Somerset’s lawsuit was filed by the ABC and brought before Pulaski Circuit Judge David Tapp.
After hearing argument by counsel for both parties, Tapp did not rule from the bench, but indicated that he would be making a written ruling in the near future.
Cole argued that the lawsuit should not be dismissed and emphasized the city’s allegations that the ABC acted “arbitrarily” and in violation of the Kentucky Constitution during the licensing process.
Girdler declined to comment on the case when contacted by the Commonwealth Journal earlier this week. Cole’s statement on the case is as follows:

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