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St. Charles bar owners plead guilty to violations; both raise objections

Published: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 10:18 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 7:31 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The owners of two downtown St. Charles businesses on Monday pleaded guilty to liquor license violations, but they also raised objections.

Rich Simpson Sr., owner of the Alibi Bar and Grill, and Peter Milligan, owner of The Filling Station Pub & Grill, entered their pleas and addressed the St. Charles Liquor Control Commission at its Monday meeting.

The Filling Station, 300 W. Main St., St. Charles, is accused of allowing alcohol purchased there to be consumed outside its premises, and failing to have someone posted during the required hours at each entrance. The violations occurred at about 2:01 a.m. July 10, according to a St. Charles police report.

Alibi Bar and Grill, 12 N. Third St., St. Charles, is accused of allowing alcohol purchased there to be consumed outside its premises, and allowing a patron to exit the business while in possession of alcohol. The violations occurred at about 1:50 a.m. June 1, according to a St. Charles police report.

After Simpson Sr. gave his plea, he proceeded to explain why he was not guilty.

Simpson Sr. said he was in the bar at the time of the incident, but he could not prove or disprove that the violations actually happened. He told commission members he tried to make contact with the 21-year-old woman that was cited outside the Alibi on June 1 for open alcohol in a public place, but he discovered she no longer lives at her listed address in the police report. He also denies that he opened a rear door at the Alibi during the incident, reached out and grabbed a drink from an outside ledge and attempted to pull it into the bar before he was stopped by police.

Milligan did not dispute the July 10 incident happened outside his business, but he said the people that were found with alcohol from his business concealed drinks as they were leaving.

Milligan made a comparison to shoplifting statistics, indicating not all people that sneak away with something are caught.

Commission members said Milligan made the shoplifting comparison before when he was before them for a violation in 2013. They said the police report indicates the people were from out of town, were not aware of the local laws and therefore did not make any attempt to conceal the alcohol.

Any announcement of penalties for the establishments would be issued within 7 to 10 days, Rogina said after the meeting adjourned.

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