A Seekonk liquor store that was punished in April for selling alcohol to an underage girl was found to be in violation of its punishment, so the Board of Selectmen voted on Wednesday to revoke its license for seven days.
The board punished Country Liquors on Fall Rive Avenue in April with a five-day suspension and an order for employees to undergo training within 60 days on how to avoid selling to minors.
Seekonk police had determined employee John Whelan, a former town selectman, had sold liquor to a 15-year-old girl. Whelan was charged with selling alcohol to a person under 21. An update on the status of the case was not immediately available.
Store owner George Collias presented the selectmen on Wednesday with certificates noting three employees had completed certified training. But the certificates were dated for that day, which the selectmen said was beyond the 60-day window. They also said Collias probably would not have had the employees take a course had he not received a notice on Monday to appear at the meeting.
"What you did this evening, coming with these documents, you think we're fools," Board Chair Francis Cavaco told Collias. "We're not going to play games with anyone who violates the license, whether it's you or anybody else in this community."
Collias said he had intended to have his employees take the course earlier, but he had trouble coming up with the money to pay for it. The course costs $40 per person.
"We had it in our business plan to do, but the suspension hurt us enough and we saved up and had the money today," Collias said. "Based on the unprecedented fine we got, we answered the selectmen's request."
His comments did nothing to change the minds of the three selectmen in attendance (Bill Rice resigned last week and Bob McLintock was absent for personal reasons). Gary Sagar proposed a three-day suspension. Dave Parker said that wasn't severe enough, and proposed seven days, which was accepted by his colleagues.
"We bent over backward last time, and I just remember somebody saying … 'If there are any further [violations], it will be dealt with severely,'" Parker said. "And for $120, somebody waited until we sent them a letter to get it done. I don't feel bad, I really don't."
The suspension will begin Friday. Collias can appeal the decision to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Commission. He declined comment after the meeting.