So much for Casanova’s big appeal against the Liquor Control Board of Adjudication. Judge Joseph Cardoza has thrown it out and said there was nothing wrong with the board’s convicting the popular Makawao restaurant and nightclub for two instances of over-service last year, said Maui County Department of Liquor Control Director Franklyn Silva at the Mar. 1, 2007 Adjudication Board hearing.
Hey, appeals are rare because they’re tough. The last time a licensee won an appeal was May 2004, when Judge Joel August ordered a do-over after the Adjudication Board convicted the Kahului Ale House of over-service. Since then, that order has become a favorite of defense attorneys—like those representing Casanova—who were fighting over-service charges.
But in response to Cardoza’s recent ruling, First Deputy Corporation Counsel Tracy Fujita Villarosa told the board that Casanova’s attempt to use the Ale House order was foolhardy. “An old order from another judge is not precedent-setting,” she said at the Mar. 1 hearing with more than a little smugness.
As if “precedent” was a concept taken seriously at the Adjudication Board.
In any case, rather than discuss the merits of the appeal or Cardoza’s rejection, the board itself seem preoccupied with the whole idea that some judge might reject their hard work.
Board member Glenn Kunitake asked if a judge could reverse an Adjudication Board decision or merely send it back to them, as he did in the 2004 Ale House matter (that board responded by tossing the whole case). When Villarosa responded that a judge could do either, numerous board members suddenly sat up. “He can?!” they said.
But then Villarosa tempered their concern by saying the County could then appeal that decision.
“I can’t think of one instance when it’s been reversed,” Silva said. “[Cases have] been remanded, but never reversed, that I can remember.”