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COLUMBIA YACHT CLUB v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/27/88)

decided: June 27, 1988.

COLUMBIA YACHT CLUB, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, in the case of Columbia Yacht Club v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. 2974, October Term, 1986.

COUNSEL

Michael J. McAllister, for appellant.

Faith S. Diehl, Assistant Counsel, with her, Kenneth B. Skelly, Chief Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 329]

Columbia Yacht Club (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County affirming an order of the Pennsylvania Liquor

[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 330]

Control Board (LCB) which suspended Appellant's liquor license for five days. We affirm.

Gary Skardisco, LCB enforcement officer, conducted an investigation of Appellant from March 28, 1985 until May 23, 1985. As a result of this investigation, Appellant was charged with selling alcoholic beverages to non-members on April 12 and May 18, 1985 in violation of section 406(a) of the Liquor Code.*fn1 After a hearing on the alleged violation, the LCB issued an adjudication in which it found: "The licensed organization, by its servants, agents or employes sold liquor and/or malt or brewed beverages on the licensed premises to non-members, on April 12 and May 18, 1985." Because this was at least Appellant's third citation within a period of four years,*fn2 the LCB imposed a five day suspension of Appellant's liquor license.

Appellant appealed to the trial court which held a de novo hearing. At the hearing, Officer Skardisco testified for the LCB. Appellant presented no evidence. Officer Skardisco testified as to the following events on April 12, 1985:*fn3 Officer Skardisco entered Appellant's premises, went to the bar and sat down. At that point, he was questioned by the club steward, Brian Tierney, as to his membership status. When Officer Skardisco informed Tierney that he was not a member, Tierney asked "Bob", who was seated next to Officer Skardisco, if he would sponsor Officer Skardisco. Bob agreed and Officer Skardisco signed the guest book. Tierney instructed

[ 117 Pa. Commw. Page 331]

Officer Skardisco to place his money for drinks in front of Bob, which Officer Skardisco did. Officer Skardisco ordered two beers while he was on the premises, and the bartender took money from that in front of Bob each time.

Officer Skardisco testified as to the following events on May 18, 1985:*fn4 Officer Skardisco entered the premises and was immediately asked for his membership card by a doorman. Officer Skardisco told the doorman he was not a member and inquired how he could then become a member. The doorman gave him a membership application which Officer Skardisco filled out and returned to the doorman with the five dollar membership fee. Officer Skardisco was allowed to enter the bar and five minutes later ordered and was sold a beer. Officer ...


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