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Liquor Store Receives 7-Day Suspension

A selectman says the owner of Country Liquors acts like the board members are fools.

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.

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 ( 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.

Emcee of Seekonk June 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM
It looks like 'one more strike and you're out', Mr. Collias. If it takes 63 days to scrape up $120, maybe the business isn't too profitable anyway.
Nelson Almeida June 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM
The sad part is. Back in April he had 5 days while he was closed to get this training done. All employees could've had this completed all together in a matter of 2-3 hours. I'm glad this time the BOS asked for an immediate suspension
JIM D June 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I myself have a 15 yr old.I am still having such a hard time with the fact that a person who the towns people trusted to make good decisions for us could actually believe the girl he was serving was of age.It really makes me wonder what other bad decisions he made that we now have to live with.George Collias should embarrassed at his lack of action regarding the punishment he received from the BOS.In my mind any employee who's illegal action's put my business in jeopardy would have been terminated!I have made it a point to never do business with this company and I am not alone.Seeing that he is once again in front of the board shows how little respect he has for the BOS and the people of this town,who in the end support him.
deb of see-attleboro June 14, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I have many thoughts about what is going on here, and not just about the former selectman. Since I cannot substantiate any of them, I will keep them to myself. So if anyone else is having similar thoughts, know you are not alone.
paul June 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
You said it all Jimmy!
Shee G June 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Jim D said it all in a Nut-shell! More needs to be done always when stronger consequences are necessary to be taking it ALL in seriously!!! Especially Role-Models! Blessings!

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