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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ANNA MARIA'S NORTH (02/22/89)

decided: February 22, 1989.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, APPELLANT
v.
ANNA MARIA'S NORTH, INC., APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, in the case of In Re: Anna Maria's North, Inc., No. 87 Misc. 188.

COUNSEL

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

Frank J. McDonnell, McDonnell, O'Brien & Wright, for appellee.

Judges Barry and Smith, and Senior Judge Narick, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Narick.

Author: Narick

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 518]

This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County (trial court) which

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 519]

    reversed a revocation by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) of the restaurant liquor license of Anna Maria's North, Inc. (Licensee).

The underlying facts that precipitated this appeal are as follows: Jeff Sileo was an employee and secretary-treasurer of the Licensee corporation. Jeff Sileo sold cocaine to an undercover police officer on the licensed premises. The PLCB issued to the Licensee a rule to show cause why its license should not be revoked because of the criminal violation which occurred on its premises. On October 23, 1987, after a hearing, the PLCB held that the Licensee had violated Section 471 of the Liquor Code, Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. ยง 4-471 in that it had:

     by its servants, agents or employes aided, abetted or engaged in the traffic in, or sale of, a controlled substance on the licensed premises and/or permitted the use of its licensed premises in the furtherance of the traffic in, or use of, a controlled substance . . . .

The Licensee appealed to the trial court. At the hearing de novo, the court heard testimony of the sole shareholder of the Licensee corporation, Mary Angelo Sileo. Mrs. Sileo testified it was not the corporation's policy to engage in the sale of illegal substances on the Licensee's premises, she had no knowledge of the illicit activity, the corporation did not profit from the sale of the cocaine and that Jeff Sileo was no longer an officer or employee of the corporation (Notes of Testimony, (N.T.) January 8, 1988, at pp. 3-5).*fn1

[ 123 Pa. Commw. Page 520]

Upon the evidence presented, the trial court reversed the PLCB's revocation and reinstated the liquor license. ...


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