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The Way I See It!

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Thirsty Moose Chronology From Chief of Police Thomas D. Poellot

Cudahy, Police

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

I have been advised by City Attorney Paul Eberhardy that the City has officially prevailed in the matter of the revocation of the Class B Combination Liquor license held by Cristie L. Bonchek.  The matter has been dismissed in circuit court and it is not possible for Ms. Boncheck to refile.  Mr. Eberhardy has provided me with the following Thirsty Moose Chronology.

 

The original combination Class B fermented beverages and intoxicating liquor licenses of Cristie Bonchek, owner of the Thirsty Moose, 3800 E. Layton Avenue, Cudahy, Wisconsin, 53110, were first issued for the license period of July 1, 2007 to June 31, 2008

 

Liquor License renewed on July 1, 2008.

 

A sworn complaint was filed by a citizen on October 13, 2008 with the City Clerk.  The Rules, Laws and Ordinances committee addressed the issue on October 16, 2008.  Ms. Bonchek was represented by Atty. Richard Staats who objected to the police chief’s membership on the committee as being a conflict of interest.  Meeting was adjourned.

 

Citizen complainant withdraws complaint in November, 2008.

 

Common Council approves restructuring of Rules, Laws and Ordinances Committee on January 6, 2009, per request of the Rules, Laws and Ordinances Committee.

 

Cudahy Police Chief Tom Poellot’s request to hire outside counsel for revocation of liquor license matters granted by the Common Council on January 20, 2009.

 

Chief Poellot and Sgt. Blunt worked with Attorney Adam Stephens to prepare a complaint.  A complaint for revocation of this license was filed on February 2, 2009 by the Cudahy Police Department.

 

Cristie L. Bonchek appeared pro se on February 11, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall in front of the City of Cudahy Rules, Laws and Licensing Committee (Committee). 

 

The Committee scheduled a formal hearing for a later date, February 25, 2009, in order to provide licensee with the opportunity to obtain counsel.

 

A formal hearing was held on February 25, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at Cudahy City Hall.   At that date time and place Cristie L. Bonchek appeared and was represented by counsel, Attorney Alan D. Eisenberg.  The complainant Chief Thomas D. Poellot, represented throughout these proceedings by hired counsel Attorney Adam B. Stephens, also appeared.

 

Testimony was provided by Chief Thomas D. Poellot, Sgt. Chris Blunt, Sgt. Andrew Kitzrow, Cristie L. Bonchek, William M. Muszytowski, John Hieden, and Robb Chojacki.  The hearing on the revocation dealt with allegations that the premises known as “Thirsty Moose” is the scene of chronic dangerous, violent and disorderly activity such as felony battery, fights, robbery and unreasonably loud, profane and boisterous noise - twenty-seven episodes in total that occurred between November 3, 2007 and January 25, 2009.

 

After a 5 ½ hour public hearing the Rules, Laws and Licensing Committee found that Ms. Cristie L. Bonchek, the licensee, has not met the criteria of Chapter 125 of the Wisconsin Statutes or Sections 12.02 and 12.03 of the Cudahy Code of Ordinances in that she keeps a disorderly, riotous, indecent and improper house, and that the continued operation of this premises constitutes a public nuisance and this premises and the conduct on the premises and in the immediate surrounding neighborhood has had a substantial adverse effect upon the health, safety convenience and prosperity of the neighborhood. 

 

The Committee further recommended that the full Common Council of the City of Cudahy exercise its discretion to revoke the Class B Combination Liquor license held by Cristie L. Bonchek, effective within fourteen (14) days after the decision of the Common Council to approve.

 

On March 3, 2009 the Common Council upheld the decision of the Rules, Laws and Licensing Committee to be effective immediately.

 

Atty. Eisenberg filed suit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court on March 5, 2009.  Assigned to Judge Moroney who recused himself.  Assigned to Judge Jean DiMotto.  Atty. Eisenberg requested substitution of Judge, which was granted.  Case transferred to Judge Timothy Dugan.

 

Writ of Certiorari was asked for requesting judicial review.  Show Cause hearing also asked for alleging that the City of Cudahy acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner when revoking the liquor license of Cristie Bonchek.

 

At the April 3, 2009 hearing in front of Judge Dugan the City objected to the manner of filing and argued that the filing was contrary to statute.  City relied on its Response brief filed a week prior.  Judge rules in favor of the City and orders the case be dismissed.  City drafts order

 

Later that same day, a new “complaint” is filed with the clerk of court.  Judge on this matter is David A. Hansher.  Due to medical issues a hearing date is set for the following Friday in front of Judge Thomas Cooper.  Atty. Eisenberg’s pleadings are essentially the same as the original pleadings filed.

 

City files notice in opposition to new filing within two business days of getting served with the new pleadings.

 

At the April 10, 2009 meeting in front of Judge Cooper the City objected to the manner of filing, in particular the Moose’s assignment of a new Judge.  Technically, the Moose had already substituted Judges during the original filing and was not allowed to do so again.  City also objected to the pleadings themselves because, while they were called a “complaint” by opposing counsel, the pleadings were the same pleadings considered improper under the first case.  Judge Cooper rules in favor of the City, denies the request for a temporary restraining order on the City, and orders the case be transferred to the original case with Judge Dugan.  City drafts order.

 

Scheduling conference scheduled for May 21, 2009 and then to May 22, 2009 due to scheduling conflicts.

 

Atty. Eisenberg withdrew as counsel by Stipulation on May 20, 2009.

 

On May 22, 2009 a scheduling conference was held.  Trial is scheduled for June 23, 2009.

 

On June 6, 2009 the City filed an answer to the complaint it had finally been served.

 

Witness lists were filed on June 10 and June 11.

 

City files objection to Bonchek Witness List on June 16.

 

On June 22 new counsel for the Moose advised that she would be sending an order for dismissal.  Trial is cancelled.

 

Court received proposed order for dismissal on July 14.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Thomas D. Poellot, Chief of Police

Cudahy Police Department

5050 South Lake Drive

Cudahy, WI 53110-6108

Phone: (414) 769-2260

Fax:     (414) 769-2259

 

Update – Sergeant Blunt informed the Neighborhood Blockwatch August 26 group that the Thirsty Moose saga in Cudahy in now over.

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