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Negligent liquor store clerks can ruin their employers’ livelihoods, jeopardizing licenses by serving people younger than 21, a Charles County liquor board member warned last week. After he begged servers to be careful, the board unanimously fined a store with a previously clean record because a clerk had served a minor at a drive-thru.

Clerks have to check IDs, Board of License Commissioners member Wayne Magoon said.

“It’s the key part of your job. Alcohol sales is almost secondary to that. You can cost your owner his license by making that kind of mistake. If you make bad change, you cost him a few more dollars. You make mistakes like that, you could cost him his license, his livelihood,” Magoon said.

“Yes, I know,” the clerk said.

The board then fined Holiday Liquors in Waldorf $250 and suspended a three-day closure at its Sept. 13 meeting. Clerk Peter Michael Reshatar, who sold a 24-pack of Coors Lite cans on June 16 to an underage person working with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, was fined $150.

At the same meeting, the board fined Big B Liquors in Bryans Road $1,000 and suspended a five-day closure because a manager, since fired, sold beer to an underage informant on June 16. While the store has passed several sheriff’s office compliance checks, it also failed one in 2010, alcohol enforcement officer Cpl. Judith Harman said.

Board member Burkey W. Boggs warned licensee Virginia Crain not to let it happen again.

“The next time it will be very severe. Everybody might get a month off,” Boggs said.

Training servers wasn’t enough to help Buffalo Wild Wings in Waldorf, where a waiter allegedly knowingly sold a beer to another underage informant. The server, Vernon Jerome Craig, did not appear at the hearing, prompting the board to seek a warrant for his arrest.

According to Harman, Craig checked the informant’s ID, was told that he was not 21, but sold him alcohol anyway, urging him to be careful if a manager walked by.

Linda Carter, an attorney for the corporation, asked the board not to come down too harshly on the restaurant because of the actions of a rogue employee. Craig was fired before the end of his June 27 shift, she said.

“What I need you all to understand, please, is the corporate policy is zero tolerance. We do not condone, we do not promote, we do not allow our employees to sell to minors, period, end of discussion,” Carter said.

The board issued a $250 fine and a three-day revocation of the restaurant’s liquor license, suspended for three years.

Legion post avoids fine

American Legion Randolph Furey Post 170 in Indian Head avoided a fine for allowing guests at a private party to bring their own alcohol and to drink it outside, both of which violated its license. The board said the violations seemed to have been committed out of ignorance.

Instead, the board unanimously voted to impose a three-day revocation of the license, suspended for three years. Board member Thomasina Coates said she had a “relationship,” which she did not elaborate on, with Frederick L. Johnson, one of the licensees, but Associate County Attorney Matthew Clagett said she could still vote if none of the licensees or Coates’ colleagues objected. None did.

Licenses granted and transferred

Maribel Alamillo, Lesley Lehner and Anthony Flerlage received a license to sell beer, wine and liquor at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Waldorf.

Mohammad Basharat resigned from the liquor license of Acton Liquor Store in Waldorf. He was provisionally replaced by Mohammad Shafiq, pending results of a background check and a credit report.

Charanjit Singh was provisionally added to the liquor license of Willett’s Discount Liquor & Deli and Manjit Kaur Kullar was removed. Robert D. Ryan remained on the license. The transfer was contingent upon the business’ receipt of a use and occupancy permit from county government and receipt of Ryan’s credit report.

Temporary licenses issued

The Charles County Chamber of Commerce received licenses to serve beer, wine and liquor at mixer events from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the La Plata campus of the College of Southern Maryland, Nov. 1 at Ferguson Enterprises in White Plains and Dec. 6 at PNC Bank in La Plata.

Pile Drivers Union Local 2311 was awarded a license to provide beer only from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 27 at Gilbert Run Park in Charlotte Hall for a picnic.

Community Foundation of Charles County received a license to serve beer only from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Chaney Enterprises mix plant in Waldorf for Chaney’s Bull Roast fundraiser.

Indian Head Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad received permits to sell beer, wine and liquor from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Oct. 12, Nov. 23 and Dec. 14 at Texas hold ’em fundraisers at the firehouse. The firehouse also received permission for its ladies auxiliary to cater a reunion for Henry E. Lackey High School alumni from noon to midnight Sept. 29 at the Indian Head Village Green Pavilion.

Nanjemoy Volunteer Fire Department received a permit to sell beer from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 20 for a shrimp feast fundraiser at the firehouse.

The vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Piney Parish, received a license to sell beer, wine and liquor from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5, with a rain date of Oct. 12, for a golf fundraiser at White Plains Golf Course.

Society for the Friends of Hospice received licenses to sell beer, wine and liquor from noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 13 and noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 for a fundraiser at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata.

emitrano@somdnews.com