Jade Summit case continued

Steamboat City Council struggles through 'hybrid' hearing

Advertisement

photo

Pirate's Pub bar owner Kevin Nerney listens to testimony during a hearing at Centennial Hall on Thursday afternoon. The hearing is similar to a judicial trial and will determine the outcome of Nerney's liquor license dispute with the city council.

— After hearing four hours of testimony Thursday, city officials postponed their quasi-judicial case to determine the fate of Jade Summit's Pirate's Pub liquor license.

The Steamboat Springs City Council, acting as the city's Liquor License Authority, will continue the second half of the hearing at 9 a.m. Nov. 8. Thursday's four hours proved long enough only for the council to hear only one side of the case. Eventually, one council member had to go to work, and the lengthy hearing began to encroach on another scheduled meeting at 5 p.m.

Jade Summit owner Kevin Nerney was called before the council because of accusations he violated the state's liquor codes of conduct. Nerney was arrested in February on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual contact, but was later found not guilty by a jury of his peers in Routt County Court in August. Despite the resolution to the criminal case, city officials decided to proceed with an administrative hearing that could strip Nerney's restaurant of its liquor license. The crime for which Nerney was found not guilty allegedly had occurred at his bar.

Collette Erickson, a private attorney and the city's prosecutor, spent nearly 3 1/2 hours presenting testimony Thursday from seven people, including a police officer, the alleged victim and members of the alleged victim's family.

Steamboat Springs attorney Kris Hammond, who is representing Nerney, did not have the opportunity to present any testimony Thursday.

City Attorney Dan Foote advised the council on legal matters that arose during the hearing. Questions of admissibility of evidence, standards and other issues were addressed before the hearing began.

Erickson acknowledged that the hearing was "unusual" and a "hybrid" of a typical criminal hearing in that the council had limited legal experience.

While Hammond argued the hearing was punitive in nature, the city disagreed, saying the hearing was meant to determine whether Nerney had violated a state liquor law and whether to suspend or revoke his liquor license.

As 3:45 p.m. neared and attorneys realized the hearing was not going to move forward, several council members questioned the need to drag out the case. Hammond said he would not be able to present defense testimony, address a rebuttal and make closing statements in an hour. The city's planning commission was scheduled to use the Centennial Hall hearing room at 5 p.m. Thursday.

"Why were we not informed this would take longer than four hours when we just heard that the criminal trial took two days?" Councilman Towny Anderson asked.

City Council President Susan Dellinger said it would be irresponsible to rush the remaining testimony.

"We need to make good decisions," she said.

Thursday's show cause hearing was only the second time the council has held such a hearing. The first show cause hearing was held for Mother's Deli last year after the Ski Time Square bar refused to accept a plea offer from the city. Nerney refused to accept a plea offer in August, leading to Thursday's hearing.

Under a two-year-old ordinance that gives the city increased authority to suspend or revoke liquor licenses, businesses that are cited for alcohol violations must appear before the City Council to defend themselves. The city typically offers a "plea deal" to those businesses. The deals usually involve a fine or suspension of the liquor license. Repeat offenders are subject to harsher penalties and suspensions, or, potentially, a revocation of their liquor licenses.

Comments

id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

As I remember, it was a "groping."

I once held a liquor license in Steamboat Springs. You've got to have a clean record to get one of those licenses, because there's obviously a lot of opportunity to make unlawful profits. Bootlegging, tax evasion, sales to minors, gambling, etc., all go hand-in-hand with "liquor by the drink" sales.

This country is set up so that the State makes a profit on immorality through taxation of abuse-prone substances such as alcohol. The unspoken rules in the system are simply that a person who breaks one law is likely to break others, and lawbreakers tend to be tax evaders too. Take away a liquor license from a lawbreaker, and the State is more likely to get their cut from some other law-abiding liquor license holder who does obey the laws.

So, it's all about tax money from liquor sales.

0

RoxyDad 6 years, 9 months ago

What was the original crime of "unlawful sexual contact" that Nerney was found innocent of?

0

JohnGault 6 years, 9 months ago

Hang in there Kevin. These pompous, small town bigshots are stroking their ego, and own self importance. Newsflash: Steamboat Springs is a -very- small pond, and being a big fish in it is about as good as being the toughest kid in third grade...

0

mom 6 years, 9 months ago

Obviously you haven't seen him in action.

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

Leave it to the newspaper to print "again" only one side of the story. We'll have to wait another month to hear Kevin's side. Just remember Kevin was found NOT GUILTY of ALL CHARGES in less than 1/2 an hour form a jury of his peers. Wasn't that enough? Hang in there Kevin !!!!JohnGault says it all!!!!!!

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

From the testimony in the "real" case the girls changed their story (one changed it 5 times) Their where whitnesses, one bartender & a guest at the bar who said they didn't see anything???? Wasn't Kevin found NOT GUILTY in less than 1/2 hour fom a jury of his peers. Seems there is much more to this story than Roxiedad is saying!!!!

0

JQPUBLIC 6 years, 9 months ago

What a waste of time and money just so the council can stroke their ego. Nowadays it seems that most juries are quick to blame business owners and award large settlements, if this guy was found not guilty in a court of law, I have to believe he was innocent. As I've said before, drunks tend to have their own clouded memories of an event and have no problem getting other drunks wanting to act important and back them up. Unless you've seen it first hand you wouldn't have a clue as to the real version versus a drunks version. Since he was found innocent in court the council needs to quit thinking they're better than our justice system and let this man get on with his life.

0

id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

There's a huge and distinct difference between "innocent" and "not guilty." "Innocent" means, "beyond doubt." "Not guilty" means "reasonable doubt."

0

katrinkakelly 6 years, 9 months ago

WHAT A WASTE OF TIME.......... LEAVE THE GUY ALONE!

0

JQPUBLIC 6 years, 9 months ago

id04... As I said... the jury found him not guilty (in a time when most juries take the side of the alleged victim for a one in a million chance it happened) so I (that means me) have to believe he's innocent. There is also a "huge and distinct difference" between the outcome of the trial and my beliefs.

0

id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

JQ,

There are also a lot of vindictive ladies around who know how to push the "I'm a victim" buttons. People sometimes tend to believe what a pretty girl says just because of the male chauvinist pig stereotypes -- such as always taking the woman's side when abuse is alleged.

A smart owner of such an establishment will conduct himself in a way so as to remove any shadow of a doubt of impropriety.

If this guy is really innocent, I hope he keeps the license. He does, however, need to be more careful in the future. It just goes with the territory.

0

RoxyDad 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey Sugarcone22

What do you mean by there is more to the story than Roxiedad (sic) is saying !!!!!

I don't think I said anything about this case other than asking for what the original problem was.

Please explain.

0

twostroketerror 6 years, 9 months ago

'quasi-legal' really sez it all. And staff really removed comments? If they only spent that kind of time proof reading the print version.

0

RoxyDad 6 years, 9 months ago

By the way...

I do believe that if he was found innocent then the issue should be over....

0

hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm curious as to why all of the comments are pro-Nerney and any comment made otherwise has been removed. Can anyone answer this for me?

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

This couldn't be further from the truth. Kevin Nerney has gotten all the bad press from the newspaper. Maybe all the blogs in favor of Kevin are because the readers feel he has gotten a raw deal from day one. No one has ever had to be "re-tried" after being found Not Guilty!!!!!

0

80488mom 6 years, 9 months ago

What I find tragic is the amount of money he's had to spend on attorney's fees which he will never recover. That's a huge flaw in the American justice system. If I'm not mistaken in England if you are found innocent of charges you are reimbursed.

I also believe in his innocence. I know Kevin and he's a good man. He dedicated most of his life to public service. He's a retired fire fighter from NY and after 911 went back to help with the aftermath. He's a true patriot. He's a family man and has great kids and an awesome wife. Too bad he's had to go through all of this. I really feel sorry for him and his family.

0

80488mom 6 years, 9 months ago

HiHoney - I believe he was found not guilty. There is no reason to rehash this over and over and over.

0

Doug Marsh 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't think I'm going to convince anyone of what I was told. Just because you were found not guilty does not make you innocent in my eyes. OJ Simpson was found not guilty. I will let this topic rest from my point of view and hope there is some karma in his life.

0

Doug Marsh 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm betting "sugarcone22" is bar owner's wife. Who else would have that much concern.

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey HiHoney07....Ever hear the story about the Duke Lacrosse Team?????

0

id04sp 6 years, 9 months ago

A person whose livelihood depends on holding a liquor license should know that even the appearance of impropriety must be avoided. Judges don't even have to be that careful . . . . as our locals tend to demonstrate from time to time.

0

Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

So now Kevin Nerney is OJ?? Nice allusion. If you aren't looking to convince anyone of anything, why are you in this discussion?

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

hey Chicago: So you know the girl....so what...where you there?????? if not....that means nothing, that is hearsay eveidence....which means nothing in a court of law. The only people who can clearly make this statement are the whitnessess that were there that nite. And they have already spoken !!!!! Lets here from the 6 jury members who found him NOT GUILTY!!!!! They heard the truth back in JUNE, and made their decision!!!!!!

0

Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

Chicago- I'm not Kevin's wife and I support and have concern for him in this witchhunt, also. The man was deemed Not Guilty by a jury of his peers. Were you there? If you were, why wasn't your testimony the nail in the coffin? Let me guess: you weren't there, right? You only "know the girl across the table." Why wasn't her story the one that made the jury deem Kevin guilty? I have someone I know who was on the jury. When it was over, she told me she wondered why this was even a case. She's also in her mid-20's, about the same age as the girls.

0

scarystuff 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't think that anyone doubts that you were told something. I imagine that it was similar to what the jury was told....I am also not Kevin's wife and it bothers me that the town is trying to revoke Kevin's liquor license based on a charge of which he was found not guilty. Why are we spending money on this? Is this a deal breaker, must he be stopped at all costs or Steamboat will lose it's "Family Friendly" status? Are these women so traumatized that it shook thier collective memories so much that they couldn't remember exactly what happened? I saw someone get their butt smacked at (fill in the name of a bar) should we go after their liquor license because they have enablesd the smacker and have done nothing to protect the smackee? This is a non-issue and should be dropped from the public bill

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey chicago Don't be the house. Hihoney -were these girls invited to the bar or did they walk in off the street? That's what initiated means. Remember that logic is the key to debate!!!

0

sugarcone22 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey Chicago: Not even close..... just a concerned citizen who belives in Truth, Justice & the American Way. Once again I will remind ALL of you out there that he was FOUND NOT GUILTY in a REAL COURT OF LAW, from a jury of his peers. No need to re-hash this thru the City Council & at taxpayers expense. Enough said on this topic, don't you think?

0

hihoney07 6 years, 9 months ago

I guess it's alright for the girls to be slandered, "hungover, DUI stop, changed their stories, " but I guess it's not alright to support them. Guess what, nobody's opinion matters except the parties involved, and all of them know exactly what happened and how and who is responsible. The jurors were not there, so they don't really know either. They just formed an opinion from what they were told, all of which was orchestrated by the lawyers. So, I'm outta here. I am just hopeful that justice prevails and no other incidents happen. And even though it was removed, I want to say again that I do feel sorry for the FAMILY of the accused. They didn't ask for this.

0

Matthew Stoddard 6 years, 9 months ago

HH07- A jury already decided this case. You are now slandering Kevin Nerney with your sour-grapes attitude. Justice already prevailed. Were you there? If not, you are just doing the same thing as the jurors, except you are only listening to one side.

If you were there, why didn't they take your testimony into account?

0

JohnGault 6 years, 9 months ago

"I'm curious as to why all of the comments are pro-Nerney and any comment made otherwise has been removed. Can anyone answer this for me?"

HiHoney, probably because Kevin's attorney told the paper that if you print one more thing we are suing for libel. It's what I would have done.

The Pilot has a long history of printing half truths as facts, not checking sources, and engaging in slanted journalism. As a business person Kevin Nerney doesn't need people who have never even been in his establishment judging him on what the Pilot has printed, or allowed to be printed.

That would be my guess, based on some experience...

0

foodchain 6 years, 8 months ago

Who is John Gault?

Sorry. I could not resist.

0

foodchain 6 years, 8 months ago

or, more appropriately...."Who is John Galt?"

0

foodchain 6 years, 8 months ago

I do not judge a man by what the Pilot prints or fails to print.

Confession: Sometimes I judge a man by his handlebar mustache.

Perhaps if he decides has has had enough with the restaurant biz, this embattled impresario could get a job on the "Old Sheriff Days" circuit. bwahahahahah. Give him a leather vest, a badge, chaps and spurs and he would rule the show.

Reference: Classic Phil Hendrie- Vernon Dozier bit. Old Sheriff Days. For those of you who missed out, I recommend the d/l.

Btw, Is the Pirate's Pub a gay bar? NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

But come on.....handlebar mustaches + "Pirate Bar" = A high score on teh Gay-dar.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.