Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Union Home Association of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, License Docket No. 1, Page 104.
Theodore A. Parker, with him Parker & Sheidy, for appellant.
David Shotel, Assistant Attorney General, with him Harry Bowytz, Chief Counsel, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 495]
This is an appeal from the order by the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas which, after a hearing de novo, sustained the order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) revoking appellant's club liquor license and forfeiting its bond. Despite the forceful argument of counsel for appellant, we must affirm.
On June 6, 1975, an enforcement agent of the Board commenced an investigation of possible non-member
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 496]
sales at appellant's club. On July 17, 1975, the agent obtained a report from a local police detective that gambling paraphernalia and a gambling device maintained by appellant had been seized at the club pursuant to a search warrant on May 17, 1975. On August 26, 1975, the agent concluded his investigation and the next day appellant was notified of the alleged gambling violation of May 17, 1975. Appellant received a citation and at a subsequent hearing the Board found as a fact that appellant had maintained the gambling device and paraphernalia on May 17, 1975. The Board, after considering several prior violations by appellant, ordered appellant's club liquor license revoked and its bond forfeited. The common pleas court sustained the order after a hearing de novo. This appeal followed.
Appellant contends that the Board did not comply with the notice requirements of Section 471 of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 4-471. That section reads in pertinent part:
No penalty provided by this section shall be imposed by the board or any court for any violations provided for in this act unless the enforcement officer or the board notifies the licensee of its nature and of the date of the alleged violation within ten days of the completion of the investigation which in no event shall exceed ninety days.
Appellant argues that the agent's investigation as to the gambling violation began and ended on July 17, 1975, with the receipt of the police report and that it was only the investigation of possible non-members sales which continued until August 26, 1975. If this were correct, the August 27, 1975 notice of the gambling charge would be beyond the ten day limitation of ...