Not sure if any of you have noticed, but the Liquor Control Board of Adjudication has really been taking it easy this year. Since the Adjudication Board has the job of levying fines and/or suspending liquor licenses to punish rule violations, it’s doubtful many license holders are particularly worried about this trend.
There were no hearings in either February or June. The January and March hearings sported just two cases apiece, all with no contest pleas that meant for relatively speedy disposition. The April meeting had a whopping three cases, though again all defendants pleaded no contest. The May Adjudication Board had just one hearing, which again was a no contest plea.
To recap, from January to June, the Board of Adjudication heard a mere eight cases. In the same six-month period 2006, the board heard nearly four times as many cases—28 in all—four of which were not guilty verdicts demanding trials. And the board would have heard even more, but the three hearings scheduled for the March 2006 were postponed when then-board member Lance Collins got booted for his decision to run for a county council seat.
When you look at the fiscal year totals—July 1 to June 30—the numbers are just as striking. In fiscal year 2006, the Adjudication Board heard 37 separate cases, an average of three per month. But in fiscal year 2007, the number of cases had dropped to 24, just two a month.
What’s more, if the upcoming July 5 hearing agenda—no cases, just a few quickie findings of fact approvals—is any indication, fiscal year 2008 will be more of the same.