Steamboat Springs Routt County District Court upheld the November 2007 revocation of the liquor licenses for Jade Summit restaurant and Pirate's Pub, in a decision filed Monday by Judge Mary Hoak.
The restaurant and bar closed earlier this year.
The liquor license was revoked by the previous Steamboat Springs City Council, operating as the city's Liquor License Authority, as a result of allegations that owner Kevin Nerney made unlawful sexual contact with a patron of his bar in February 2007. Though he was cleared of all criminal charges in August 2007, the City Council found him guilty of violating state liquor codes in quasi-judicial hearings last fall and revoked his liquor license.
His wife, Kathy Nerney, later gained a liquor license in her name, which the current City Council granted with the stipulation that Kevin Nerney not be allowed on the premises during businesses hours.
That liquor license, which went into effect Feb. 20, does not expire until Feb. 19, 2009.
The revocation was appealed to Routt County District Court on March 31, under the premise that the Liquor License Authority abused its discretion, in part by failing to follow city staff's recommendation for a thirty-day suspension. Hoak found that there was "competent evidence" that Kevin Nerney violated the state liquor code and that the guidelines for liquor license suspensions and revocations are nonbinding, according to Monday's decision.
The Nerneys declined to comment specifically on Monday's district court decision. Kathy Nerney said the issue is "dead and buried."
"If there's no restaurant, there's no liquor license - what's the point," Kathy Nerney said. "Bottom line is my husband was found innocent of all charges."
While Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub shuttered their doors months ago as part of the redevelopment of Ski Time Square and Thunderhead Lodge, the Nerneys' saga is not over.
At a Liquor License Authority hearing Thursday, hearing officer Jim Moylan found probable cause to move forward with an alleged violation of Kathy Nerney's liquor license in March, City Clerk Julie Jordan said. Witnesses and police allegedly saw Kevin Nerney serving patrons at Pirate's Pub, which would violate the condition of the liquor license issued to Kathy Nerney in February.
A show cause hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7, where material will be presented showing that a suspension or revocation of the liquor license is warranted, Jordan said. The owners of the establishment also are invited to make their case.
The city will complete the statutory process for the alleged violation regardless of whether the Nerneys decide to participate and despite the fact that Jade Summit and Pirate's Pub are closed and awaiting demolition, Jordan said.
- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org