Commonwealth Journal

News Live

February 4, 2013

Girdler optimistic positive results will emerge from ABC


Eubank —

Only the last of those has been given the green light to open by the city, however, with the other four smaller-scale liquor retailers having their city licenses held up until the city can convince the ABC to allow more than five licenses. The ABC selects how many quota licenses a “wet” area should get and then picks who gets them — and it’s Girdler’s belief that Somerset can handle more than five based on market size.
In fact, the complaint filed by the city even states that according to Kentucky Administrative Regulations, one liquor package license is available for every 2,300 residents in counties containing second- to fourth-class cities — which would mean Pulaski County could conceivably qualify for a quota of 28 licenses. Girdler, however, is seeking only about three or four more.
One reason for optimism could lie with the Kentucky ABC’s new leadership. Frank Higdon, a Lebanon, Ky., attorney, was named the new Kentucky ABC commissioner last month by Public Protection Cabinet Secretary Robert D. Vance. Higdon is replacing Tony Dehner, who was one of the subjects of the complaint.
Dehner had also been overseeing the ABC when Wesley Morgan, CEO of Liquor World, filed a lawsuit against the agency last year, hoping to point out problems with the way quota licenses were approved for Corbin, Ky. — another newly “wet” community where Liquor World was denied.
“The new commissioner doesn’t take office until around March 15,” said Girdler. “We do anticipate that on or near that date, there will be some action taken. IT could be a lot sooner than that, but we’re not certain.
“I think (Higdon) will be very fair and reasonable,” added Girdler. “As I understand it, he wants to put a very positive image on the ABC, working for the benefit of the Commonwealth. I think that’s very good news for Somerset.”

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