Two Hazelwood businesses lost their liquor licenses on Tuesday because employees have served alcohol to minors on at least three occasions within a 12-month period.
The Hazelwood Police Department conducts the undercover visits and has a procedure in place where it checks all licensed businesses on a regular basis to ensure compliance.
Tony Roma's license is conditionally revoked; however, Phillips 66 has a permanent revocation.
Hazelwood City Council approved the decisions at its meeting last week. Prior to that, Hazelwood's Liquor Committee solidified the recommendations after formal hearings with owners/management of both establishments.
The committee rotates each year and consists of city council members. This year, even numbered wards were selected that include Bob Aubuchon, Mary Singleton, Mike Conley and Warren "Butch" Taylor.
Phillips 66 Revocation
Hazelwood City Councilaman Bob Aubuchon read the committee's report regarding the situation in which it agreed the license for Phillips 66 should be revoked.
"The reason we are recommending such a strict penalty is because in the process of them (HPD) going in and checking for sale of liquor to minors there were drugs found behind the clerk's counter," he said. "So that makes it a nuisance area."
City attorney Kevin O'Keefe noted although there were drugs located, the license revocation decision was made solely on the alcohol-related charges.
"The charges on which the committee makes it recommendation and to which the licensee is subject to discipline relate only to the alcohol sale violations," he said.
The revocation includes all packaged alcohol including liquor and beer.
O'Keefe said the business is only banned for one year, and could essentially re-apply for a license in 2014.
"Council would certainly be under no obligation to re-issue it if they were to apply," he said.
Tony Roma's Revocation
Tony Roma's liquor license situation is a bit different than Phillips 66.
Aubuchon said the business' liquor license for the sale of alcoholic beverages is conditionally revoked. The committee decided to defer the revocation and just temporarily suspended the business' license for 45 days. The deferment can be reversed at any time and the revocation take effect if any other violations related to alcohol sales occur within one year.
Hazelwood City Councilman Mike Conley said although Tony Roma's also had three instances with underage drinking in the same span as the Philips 66, a factor in the decision is the "proactive approach" with which management took responsibility regarding the situation.
"(HMS Host) came into the hearing with a plan," he said. "They disciplined the staff, and in fact they fired two of them.
"They presented us with some plans they already had put in place to ensure this doesn't happen again."
Hazelwood City Council has disciplined other licensees for similar instances in the past. No other alcohol related instances were discovered upon police inspection.
Aubuchon said Tony Roma's will be subjected to frequent police inspections, and management has to pay for specialized employee training training related to identifying and dealing with underage alcohol purchase issues.
Tony Roma's management must have all employees fully trained by the end of the suspension period of 45 days. All employees hired between April 23, 2013 and April 24, 2014 must also be trained.