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CLEVELAND BATES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/14/79)

decided: February 14, 1979.

CLEVELAND BATES, T/A NEETA'S BAR, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of In the Matter of Revocation of Restaurant Liquor License No. R-14658 and Amusement Permit No. AP-19884, issued to Cleveland Bates, t/a Neeta's Bar, No. S.A. 136 of 1976.

COUNSEL

Morris F. Cohen, for appellant.

J. Leonard Langan, Assistant Attorney General, with him Kenneth W. Makowski, Acting Chief Counsel, and Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 427]

Cleveland Bates, trading as Neeta's Bar, appeals an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County dismissing his appeal from a decision of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Board) revoking his restaurant liquor license and amusement permit. We affirm.

The Board cited Bates for selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor in violation of Section

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 428493]

(1) of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 4-493(1), and for permitting the use of the licensed premises for traffic in or use of controlled substances. After a hearing, the Board revoked Bates' license and permit pursuant to Section 471 of the Liquor Code, 47 P.S. § 4-471. Bates appealed, and the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, after a hearing de novo, made the following findings of fact:

1. Appellant's employee, Roosevelt Davis, sold intoxicating drink on May 3 and May 8, 1975, to Deborah Elizabeth Jones, a minor born June 18, 1956.

2. On February 8, March 21, May 17 and June 19, 1975, the licensee, or his employee, permitted licensed premises to be used in the use of a controlled substance, and on May 23 and May 27, 1975, the licensee allowed the premises to be used in the furtherance of traffic in such substances.

With regard to the first finding, Bates argues that the Commonwealth's only witness, the minor's mother, was biased and hostile and therefore her testimony was not competent to support the finding. To the contrary, a witness' interest may be considered when judging his credibility, but that interest does not render him incompetent to testify, and such testimony may properly support a finding of fact. See College Watercolor Group, Inc. v. William H. Newbauer, Inc., 468 Pa. 103, 111, 360 A.2d 200, 204 (1976). Therefore, the first finding is properly supported by the testimony of the minor's mother.

Bates also argues that the evidence does not establish that he "permitted" the unlawful use of and traffic in drugs on his premises. In Glass Door Liquor ...


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