Thursday August 2, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The Mass achusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is expected to rule by the end of the month if a Pittsfield bar, which has been shut down by the city for the time being, repeatedly violated the conditions of its liquor license.

On Tuesday, the ABCC held a show-cause hearing into allegations Hermann Alexander’s illegally sold liquor purchased from retail stores on 20 different occasions. Under state law, bars are required to buy alcohol from licensed wholesale distributors.

After the hearing, the three-member commission in charge of regulating local liquor licenses said it would issue a decision within 30 days, according to an ABCC spokeswoman. De pending on the decision, the ABCC could then hand down a disciplinary action.

The liquor law violations stem from a police raid in April by the Berkshire County Drug Task Force that also resulted in allegations of illegal gambling and drug dealing at the Lyman Street bar.

The police action prompted the Pittsfield Licensing Board on May 15 to suspend Herman Alexander’s liquor license for 60 days. On July 13, the board extended the suspension to Aug. 20, pending the outcome of the ABCC hearing and criminal investigation of owner Mitchell Grossjung.

City police have said they plan to file drug charges against Grossjung, claiming that he was aware of and encouraged cocaine dealing at the bar. Grossjung has denied the allegations.


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However, four city residents are facing drug-related charges in connection with alleged cocaine dealing inside the bar and in its parking lot. The four suspects have pleaded not guilty in court.

Meanwhile Grossjung, along with bar employee Anthony Thompson, have been charged with making unlawful payments from video poker machines to bar customers. Both men have since denied the gaming charges in court and are free on bail.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.