The hearing had been scheduled for 1 p.m., today, but was rescheduled, explained Ricky Clark, ex-officio county clerk, due to scheduling conflicts with the defendant’s attorney. The hearing is currently scheduled to start at 1 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, at the County Courthouse Annex, 119 E. Solomon St., Room 108.
The hearing is in response to an employee of the store selling to an underage informant for the Sheriff’s Office during a check back in January. According to the incident report from Jan. 20, the clerk sold two 24-ounce bottles of Bud Light to a person under 21, without checking the ID at the time of purchase, while working at Coles Corner BP, 7051 Newnan Road, Griffin.
County Attorney Jim Fortune explained this was before the board at the June 18 meeting because the clerk pled guilty, then upon the store being notified the license would be suspended, she asked that her guilty plea be removed and later entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of failure to use due care and paid a $1,0000 fine.
The store’s license was re-instated as of April 26, following the removal of the initial guilty plea for the misdemeanor change of unlawful sale of alcohol to a person under 21, by the clerk, Lillian Melinda Evans, 31, of 1720 Etheridge Mill Road, Griffin. Fortune said the State Court case settles the criminal aspect of this, but the administrative hearing on the second offense for the store will determine the fine and suspension of the alcohol license.
Fortune also advised the commissioners on June 18, that the store’s legal representative, Edward Ballard, has “assured me there will be a spirited defense should we decide to move forward.”
Commissioner Raymond Ray made the motion on June 18 to hold the hearing, “since we already moved against one, Country Rock, earlier this year, in the interest of fairness, we should have a hearing to consider fine and revocation.”
Clark said the vote on June 18 was only a consensus from the board to hold the hearing.