He’s been off the Liquor Control Adjudication Board for over a month now, but Lance Collins is still getting rejected by his old colleagues.
This latest time was over the table—the stupid table where the adjudication board members sit during hearings. As it’s arranged now, it’s easy for licensees appearing before the board to think that the prosecuting attorney, LC investigators and board members are all part of the same team. Collins wanted to move things around slightly so that both the prosecuting attorney and the licesee respondent were facing the board.
It was an easy, simple, even elegant way for the LC board to show how they do whatever they can to be fair to respondents. Even department director Franklyn Silva supported the idea.
“It has its merits,” he told the board members at their Apr. 6 hearing. Silva even offered to set up the room for their next hearing to show them exactly what Collins was asking for, but the board members flatly rejected making any changes.
“I find no difference,” board member M. D. Alborano said, shrugging her shoulders and obviously scoffing at the idea that there was even the hint of an appearance of an inkling that board members deferred to LC staff and prosecution attorneys over responding liquor licensees.
“I feel the same way,” said board member Marilyn Chapman. “It doesn’t affect us.”
That’s how it was at the Feb. 9, 2006 Liquor Commission hearing—a general feeling of surprise that the Adjudication Board could in any way act unfairly towards licensees hauled before it.
“The consensus is no,” said Silva. “That’s no problem.”
And just like that, the whole table issue was over.