Jade Summit restaurant and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney, pictured Monday with his wife, Kathy, says liquor sales comprise about 50 percent of the business. Kevin Nerney said he is in the process of appealing the city's decision to revoke his liquor license. For the time being, Nerney has had to remove open containers of alcohol from the bar.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Jade Summit restaurant and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney, pictured Monday with his wife, Kathy, says liquor sales comprise about 50 percent of the business. Kevin Nerney said he is in the process of appealing the city's decision to revoke his liquor license. For the time being, Nerney has had to remove open containers of alcohol from the bar.

Nerney continues fight

Pirate's Pub owner will challenge liquor license revocation

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Liquor license revocation

Jade Summit restaurant and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney says he will appeal city council's decision to revoke his liquor license.

Jade Summit restaurant and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney says he will appeal city council's decision to revoke his liquor license.

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Jade Summit restaurant and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney, pictured Monday with his wife, Kathy, says liquor sales comprise about 50 percent of the business. Kevin Nerney said he is in the process of appealing the city's decision to revoke his liquor license. For the time being, Nerney has had to remove open containers of alcohol from the bar.

— Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub owner Kevin Nerney is exploring several avenues to overturn last week's revocation of his liquor license.

Nerney said Monday that he intends to reapply for a liquor license, appeal the council's decision in District Court and ask a newly seated council at its first meeting tonight to reconsider the punishment. He also will request that the revocation be stayed until his appeals are resolved.

Nerney was found not guilty of unlawful sexual contact in Routt County Court in August. The court case stemmed from an alleged incident that occurred in February at his bar. Despite the verdict in the criminal case, city officials proceeded with a quasi-judicial administrative hearing to determine whether Nerney violated the state's liquor code of conduct.

Although a criminal conviction requires a finding of wrongdoing "beyond a reasonable doubt," the administrative hearing used the less rigorous standard of proof known as "preponderance of the evidence," which only requires a finding that the charges were more likely than not to have occurred.

Nerney and his Steamboat Springs attorney, Kris Hammond, have disputed the city's hearing on principle since Nerney was cleared of criminal charges.

"I don't think it should have gone through City Council," Nerney said. "The City Council is a legislative body. They don't get to play judge, jury and executioner."

Hammond agreed.

"It was unreal," he said. "The case is brought by a city representative. You go over to the city building to have the case heard. And the city was judge, jury and executioner."

Nerney could have avoided Thursday's hearing in August, when the city offered him a 15-day liquor license suspension, with 10 days held in abeyance. Had he taken that offer, his liquor license would have been suspended for a total of nine days, including four days in abeyance from a 2006 violation. Nerney rejected the plea offer, also on principle.

"He's not going to roll over for the (city) staff or anybody else for something that he did not do," Hammond said at the city's hearing last week.

In a 3-2 vote, City Council members Towny Anderson, Susan Dellinger and Karen Post voted for the revocation, and council members Paul Strong and Steve Ivancie voted against a punishment they called too harsh. Council members Ken Brenner and Loui Antonucci were not present. Hammond also took issue with the short-handed council.

"In a five-member body, three is a majority," Hammond said. "In a seven-member body, three is a minority."

Anderson, Dellinger and Post officially give up their City Council seats tonight. Each lost their respective races on Election Day.

Getting the case to be reconsidered by City Council won't be easy. Assistant City Attorney Dan Foote said a motion of reconsideration has to be made by one of the council members who voted in the majority. Anderson, Dellinger and Post are technically still council members, but they will hand over their authority at the beginning of tonight's meeting.

"I suppose there is a theoretic possibility that could happen," Foote said.

Nerney also might not have luck reapplying for a new liquor license. Foote said liquor license determination requires a finding of "good morale character and reputation" and take past revocations into consideration.

"He could apply, but the fact that he just has his liquor license revoked would be an important consideration," Foote said.

If an appeal is made to District Court, a judge would review transcripts from the city's hearing to determine whether the city took appropriate action. If the District Court judge finds that the city acted inappropriately, Hammond said that the most likely outcome would be the awarding of a new trial with the city.

In the meantime, Nerney is feeling a business pinch from the loss of liquor sales.

Nerney said Steamboat Springs police officers came to Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub the same day as council's ruling to post a notice of Nerney's liquor license revocation on the restaurant and bar's door. They also ordered Nerney to remove all alcohol from the premises.

"Right now I'm operating as a restaurant, but no liquor is being served," Nerney said. "It's at least 50 percent of my business. : It's extremely damaging."

Through all his planned courses of action, Nerney hopes he regains a liquor license soon.

"The mountain is opening in two weeks," he said. "Timing is of the essence."

Authority's days over?

The City Council's future as the city's Liquor License Authority also is in question. Several of the winners in last week's City Council elections spoke during the campaign of scaling back council's workload by increasing its delegation of authority. Cari Hermacinski, winner of council's at-large seat, said last week that she would like to see the council no longer serve as the city's Liquor License Authority.

Such a move would be possible according to state statute, which defines a local licensing authority as "the governing body of a municipality:or any authority designated by municipal or county charter, municipal ordinance or county resolution."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210

or e-mail bgee@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

This should be a matter settled in the judicial system.

But, geez, holy cow, get rid of that thing on your face. Ick.

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heron123 6 years, 9 months ago

justice has been served! please keep it this way, they do not deserve to be operating a business

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

No, justice said he was not guilty. A bunch of lame-ducks (and the "d" in ducks wasn't my first choice of letters) on City Council chose to ignore that.

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heron123 6 years, 9 months ago

I understand there are many sides to this story...certainly more than two. But, as a person who knows at least three, I feel that justice has been served....almost. And, if you knew as much about the "activities" that have happened in this establishment, the persons employed and protected during investigations, as I do, you may feel differenty. I truly hope that FULL justice comes to them someday.

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below_me 6 years, 9 months ago

One can only hope other liquor license holders will pay attention and the cavalier attitude of some them will change. Yeah, sucks to lose your license but hey maybe thats something they should think about before things get out of control.

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sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

Geeeezzz do we have to rehash this story all over again? Just another reason to get HI Honey & her GANG back on their Poisoned High Horses. Once again I think that the key phrase here is "FOUND NOT GUILTY in the REAL Court of Law" NOT the Quazi Kangaroo Court. Just remember that Justice will prevail. You Nay Sayers are just happy it went your way this time. (even if it was NOT LEGAL) Time will tell what happens here. If the comments in last weeks article (last I counted there were 79) are any indication how the public feels....you'll be BACK IN THE SADDLE in no time. But really..GET RID OF THAT MUSTACHE!!!!!!

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CoJustice 6 years, 9 months ago

Criminal v. Conduct (two different offenses). The individual was found not guilty of a criminal act, however found at fault in the conduct code. There are penalties associated with both of these items, but dealt with separately and differently. The conducts of an establishment are governed by regulations, and "activities offensive to senses of average citizen" are judged separately. These proceedings were required by law.

It is the duty of the police to enforce these laws as outlined in the state statutes of the Division of Liquor/Tobacco Enforcement, under the Department of Revenue. The SSPD is doing their job, as required. Part of the investigation includes testimony, and assistance to victims.

I am getting the feeling that a lot of people want a lawless life style, freefall that position victims last.

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justathought 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't know if I'm reading this article right, or if comments on the other forum are true or rumor but this is my perception...

The case was brought by a city representative (an employee?) [The accuser did not leave the bar and make a complaint. It was only when pulled over by the police after driving that a complaint was made.] The accuser's witnesses kept altering their account of the events. Out of state and out of country witnesses flew in on behalf of the accused (with non wavering accounts of the event). A jury in a court of law found the accused not guilty. The city decides they will get justice for a city representative and hold their own trial. Now a man's livelihood has been taken away by a power hungry city council playing judge, jury and executioner. Do I have this right? AND THIS IS JUSTICE? [The criminal case involved several factual elements that didn't have to be proved in (front of the) liquor board], we wouldn't want facts to get in the way now would we?

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heron123 6 years, 9 months ago

There is no justice with victims in this or any other case with the Jade Summit. You have no idea how hard I fought with that place. This has been going on since his place has opened. SHOULDN'T THAT BE A RED FLAG.

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snogirl 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree I think this has been going on way to long. HUGE RED FLAG!!! They have had problems since they opened. Look at what has happened to other local bars in this town! !

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Doug Marsh 6 years, 9 months ago

Justathought - you have total misinformation. LOL Girl has inappropriate contact by owner, leaves bar, a friend contacts police who was driving through Ski Time Square and asks the girl if she would like to press charges. Girl comes back to Ski Time Square and talks to police. No City employee involved. Goes to court, jury finds defendent not guilty, not because of your comments. Liquor authority decides there is enough evidence to hold a hearing and listen to the facts.
The City Council decides to believe the three girls at the table rather than the owner falling into the girl because of a bad back that was the best excuse to come up with at the time. Use your common sense, there is no reason for the girls to make up this story. They did nothing wrong but be in the wrong at the wrong time. No hidden agenda.
Too many rumors going around. This is the truth.

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hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

justathought, you do not have it right No one was pulled over by the police. The victim's friend sought out the police on her behalf. All three parties gave statements separately in which the (disgusting) facts were identical.
It doesn't matter who flew in from where ever, they were across the room. The victim and 2 witnesses were within 2 feet of the incident and saw and heard everything. ALL FIVE city council members heard the testimony and believed her and did not believe him. All of this is now public record.(Council Mtg.) By the way, that disgusting thing on his face is offensive in more ways than anyone knows!!!!!!

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heron123 6 years, 9 months ago

I guess I'll address the above first: Have only been here once. Will never go back again and nor will anyone I know.

Going back up further; Ironic you chose the word "poisoned". This is exactly what has happened in this establishment on numerous occasions to numerous woman (and this is not hearsay nor speculation). Although this current case is not about those "events" and the primary individual responsible has gotten out of town, the proprietor of this establishment was well aware of the events and protected that individual. The reason I bring this up (rehash as mentioned above) is because it shows "character". And, since part of the determination of granting the liquor license is based on "good moral character" it may be important. If the DLT is serious about sticking to this, they should look into the numerous police reports surrounding this establishment (yes...they do exist). Many of you can speculate, insinuate or accuse from your armchair about this establishment and the situation. But, if you truly knew the details you may be typing a different tune.

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SSPerson 6 years, 9 months ago

Sometimes things just work out for the best. I think this is a prime example.

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id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

Places which are detrimental to good order and discipline in the community should not have a liquor license. Just take the time to do it the right way.

Pssssst . . . anybody know if the cops get free drinks or "discounts" in there?

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hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

One more thing. Anyone who feels strongly that Nerney should not get his license back, should come to the council meeting tonight at 5:00. If the truth is going to be heard, we need to be there to tell them we don't want a person of questionable character serving liquor in our community.

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id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

honey,

I don't understand why not. If persons of questionable character are allowed to drink it, what's the diff?

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hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

Serving carries more responsibility (TIPS class). Yes everyone bears responsibility, and some actually monitor themselves. But it is ultimately the owner's responsibility to see that rules are followed and no one is overserved or illegally served.

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armchairqb 6 years, 9 months ago

I think we are getting off the "real point" Does the Council have the right to revolk a Liq Lic. after the person was found not guilty in a court of law? Did Council react personally because they were "ousted". Now I don't want to start WWIII, just someone out their please comment on this without all the BS & false alligations

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hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

The council serving in its capacity as Liquor licensing authority has a responsibility to investigate claims of misconduct etc. by persons serving. All 5 members present believed the claimant and did not believe Nerney's version. It really was not a retrial, it was about whether or not he should serve alcohol.

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older_dude 6 years, 9 months ago

Can someone please just provide a simple, PG-rated version of what the heck allegedly happened?

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hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

Nerney claims bad back caused him to "fall into" young woman's chest. Does not explain sounds he made or statements he made.

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outsiderlookingin 6 years, 9 months ago

Maaaaaan pass the antidote. The snake venom is flying fast and furious. Are you listening to yourselves???? It's on thing to dicuss the issues and another to slander the story maker but how do you drag the cops into it by suggesting there's graft and corruption going on? And the problems with other bars ? how does that fit in? you know a little logic goes a long way!!!!!!!!!!

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Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

It seems that Heron123 has sent me a couple of PM's. The first asked if I wanted to see the police record. I responded by saying I'd prefer to see the court transcripts, so as to see what stories would have changed, if they had. I told Heron that if provided, I would look over it but that I'd be skeptical to start out. I said this because (as I've mentioned a few times in a few threads on this over the months) that Kevin is a friend and one of the jurors on the case was also.

I was then sent the 2nd PM asking if I coached her on what to say. I'll answer that here, where all can see my response. I would have kept it private (I don't have Heron's identity and had no intention of divulging it unless ok'd by Heron) but I was offended by the statement.

"Hello,

The user heron123 sent the following message to you via steamboatpilot.com:

==============================

So you were friends with the her and you claim to know Kevin very well. Did you tell her what to say? How long have you lived here?"


There was more, but since that portion is not a proven case in this instance, I won't print that part. Heron123 can expand on it, if Boyer allows.

In answer to your questions, for all the public to see:

No- I didn't tell that juror anything and I'm offended to even think people would think that of me. Anyone on this forum can attest to my being pretty even-handed when dealing in this type of issue, whether someone is a friend or not. That doesn't mean I won't take a side, but most see that I will usually play devil's advocate for both sides, whether they see the other side or not.

Second- I've lived here since 1978 and have known Kevin about 6yrs. He just happens to be my neighbor and the Jade Summit has been kind to both my wife and I, and to the cast and crews of shows I've performed in at the theater for after-show parties. (The rest of the cast and crews will have to attest to their own thoughts- I can say they've treated me well.) I don't hang out at Jade Summit, but I have eaten there a few times. I haven't had an alcoholic drink since 1991, so that excluded me from hanging out in the Pirate's Pub.

Does this automatically put me on their side, discounting all against them? No, it doesn't. I stand behind them until I have something to convince me not to. So far, anonymous testimony based on disputing a Not Guilty verdict in a jury trial on record with heresay that evidently didn't persuade jurors (1 of which I knew and had no reason to distrust) won't convince me.

So there's your answer. If you want to take your statements further, along with mine on just this particular subject: subpoena me! I will be there! That's why I'm not anonymous.

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dave reynolds 6 years, 9 months ago

if all the alleged victums knew this was going on then I ask each and every one of you why oh why did you go there if a car is speeding down the road do you put yourself in harms way..no i think not...maybe you should have gone to the haug instead or wasn't that as fun..ask yourselves why did you put yourself in the position for this to happen to you to quote(hihoney07)..responsibility

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hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

We knew nothing about this place prior to this incident. Wish I had known, believe me, there's no way we would have gone there. This is why I feel strongly about getting the word out to other young women. FIND ANOTHER PLACE TO GO.

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dave reynolds 6 years, 9 months ago

where like Mothers now thats a respestable place to..face it you go to have a good time people get drunk fall into you have you ever filed chares agaisnt them..if he does have a bad back then manuvering through drunks and chair legs and spilt drinks and such could cause you to lose your balance..I've done it an appolgied immediately..still why put yourself in that position..I mean no disrespect to Mothers or any other bar in town but people get trashed stumble and fall been there done that..if your other witnesses had that happen to them the why didn't they speak up sooner

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skisteamboat 6 years, 9 months ago

keep your head up kevin. we are behind you all the way

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