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Council Rejects Car Dealership's License Request

A drug bust and a history of bad applications are among the reasons for the denial.

As expected, the City Council on Tuesday denied an application by Iyana Auto Sales for a license to sell used cars. The Dickens Street business was the site of the biggest drug bust in Attleboro history last year. This incident was among the reasons for the denial.

The vote was 10-0, with Councilor Brian Kirby abstaining. He said he would not vote because his parents live near the dealership and the issue "has an emotional interest" to him.

The application was discussed in-depth last week during the council's license committee meeting. The committee members and councilors not on the committee said they would not support the application. Their view was backed by city solicitor Robert Mangiaratti, who wrote that an applicant not being a "proper reason" could justify a denial, and the council "has good reason to believe that serious criminal activity has taken place at the Iyana business premises." 

Also among the reasons for the denial were Iyana's repeated problems with its license applications. Earlier this year when the business attempted to renew the license, Iyana had failed to obtain the required security bond. For the application before the council on Tuesday, Iyana had failed a building inspection.

Councilor Jonathan Weydt said Iyana has had problems for several years, and has been unable to change despite frequent advice from the city on how to improve.

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it put a bathing suit on," Weydt said.

Jeremy Denlea, who chairs the licensing committee, read into the record the official denial of the permit, which includes statements about the flawed applications, the drug bust and a possible investigation into the business by the Rhode Island DMV.

"The Attleboro Municipal Council must protect the public in their dealing with second-hand car dealers," Denlea said.

Dealership owner Candy Vicente did not attend the meeting. Denlea said after last week's committee meeting, she called his home when he was not there, but did not leave a message. This was her only attempt to contact him or any other city official since last week, Denlea said.

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