La Presa to Close For Two Weeks, Pay Fines as Result of Village Code Violations
The business and the village are finalizing an agreement that requires suspension of the business’ license along with fines; La Presa did not dispute allegations regarding the sale of cocaine on premises and improper certifications for liquor-pouring empl
La Presa Restaurant will likely close its doors for two weeks and pay fines resulting from village code violations the business owners chose not to argue against in a hearing Wednesday at village hall.
Details are still being finalized, according to Paul Augustyn, attorney for La Presa, but the business did concede for the official village record that [La Presa] agrees with the allegations ‘in principle’ regarding disposition in this matter.
“If we would have gone forward, the village would have met its burden of proof, so instead we decided to agree to a two-week suspension and pay fines relating to village attorney fees,” Augustyn said.
Augustyn noted that business owner Guadalupe Merchato takes the situation very seriously and noted that in the combined total 15 years he has operated two restaurants at 319 S. Rohlwing Road and at 1572 N. Rand Road, problems like this have never occurred.
“La Presa has a long history in the village, which I believed helped us come to an agreement here,” Augustyn said.
Village Attorney Patrick Brankin said investigations found that .8 grams of cocaine was sold between an employee and a customer on November 8, 2012.
Since the case is ongoing, Augustyn said he could not clarify whether the employee was the buyer or seller, but did say part of the agreement required that the employee does not return to work for La Presa.
Augustyn also said the business will ensure that there is compliance in requiring BASSET training for employees who serve alcohol, moving forward.
The business is currently open, but Augustyn said when the agreement is likely finalized by end of business Wednesday, February 20, the business will close its doors to observe the two week suspension.
More management will also be required to be present at the location as part of the agreement.
“Additional operational measures will be outlined [in the final agreement] that will hopefully prevent something like this from ever happening again,” Brankin said.