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May 22, 2014

Hayhurst Hit With Big Penalties

by at 8:34 pm.

So, if you did not watch the License Commission tonight, you missed an entertaining meeting. The ever-shrinking License Commission was holding a hearing on the license of Finn’s Pub downtown, because Kevin Hayhurst allegedly assaulted a patron (who wound up in the ER with a fractured nose). Allegedly this is the second time this has happened in the last year or so…

Former Commission member Ray Weicker (whom I would never hire as attorney, he was terrible) was there on behalf of Hayhurst. The testimony included character assassination by proxy (Weicker repeatedly attacked the victim’s stepfather, calling him a felon and stating that the stepson was following in his footsteps), and accusations of blackmail (which never, it appears, made it to a police report, strangely…) where Hayhurst claims the young man and his stepfather tried to extort $20,000 from him to not press charges. Hayhurst had a whole couch-and-water story about how he wasn’t even there. Apparently, written testimony and police interviews with the witnesses who are not employees of Hayhurst state otherwise. They didn’t make it to the meeting though (due to work commitments etc). Weicker tried to pretend that this meant their testimony was not useable because he couldn’t cross examine said persons. I think he missed the part where this wasn’t a court of law?

Anywho, super fun. And you won’t really see this in the Sun since I hear that the media table was empty tonight. Luckily, LTC will have it archived soon and you can see it yourself, because it really is worth the viewing. Just think - all your shows are wrapping up their seasons…you need something good to watch!

So the kicker is the penalties imposed. My understanding is that it’s rare that a long suspension is enacted. I suppose that makes sense, since even losing a week’s worth of revenue is pretty devastating.

Finn’s Pub got a full 30 days. What’s more, Brian’s Ivy Hall is also closed…because the License Commission also removed Kevin Hayhurst as Manager of Record of both bars, and you can’t run a liquor establishment without one. In order to reopen, Brian’s Ivy Hall needs to bring another Manager of Record for approval to the License Commission. That means a minimum of a three weeks since the LC doesn’t meet again until June 12th. That’s if they can find someone willing to put their name to the responsibility…

Thirdly, the LC put in its motion to suspend Hayhurst from managing both places, that he be removed as a corporate officer in the companies. This was after they wanted to force him to divest from both companies but the assistant city attorney’s opinion was rendered that that was not within the LC’s purview.

There is still criminal charges pending against Hayhurst, so his penalties might not be over with…but I think we can safely say that there’s a good chance one or both of these places might be gone in the next year or so. Good riddance, as they are the some of big offenders of attracting unwanted types to our downtown late into the night.

4 Responses to “Hayhurst Hit With Big Penalties”

  1. Dennis B Says:

    Wow……very good tonight….the License commission…is this what i am watching.. my wife came in..because she heard the lawyer asking question…honey what this….I said License……I never seen anything like this of all the years of watching License commisson…with all the boring things on cable 99….its was good…and..I see more peoples sitting there …then tuesday night at city col meeting…

  2. Lynne Says:

    It certainly was more exciting than our city council meetings lately!! One and done with them…one hour and gavel. Crazy.

  3. Craig H Says:

    Please take this with all due respect and agreement that better policing of our downtown is critically important, especially in light of the recent stabbing on Bridge Street near Kerouac Park, where so much trouble has been centered in the past.

    “Unwanted types” is a difficult thing to read by someone living and (later evening) patronizing and walking downtown, when written by someone not living and (later evening) patronizing and walking downtown. Much sensationalism accompanies what becomes visible to outside observers via things like License Commission meetings and selectively-published police reports, but much more is missed when other factors remain without discussion. Many if not most “unwanted types” roaming the downtown do so after drinking in their cars, and the police now have easy access to control much of this from patrols recently initiated in the Roy and I hope other city garages. In my experience, the most objectionable folks walking the streets at 2am do not consistently originate from Finn’s, even though the other establishments they also frequent are not nearly as often in front of the License Commission for whatever reason. Which is not to say that Finn’s hasn’t earned their penalties. However, looking at the larger picture, though I hope your sentiment is correct and we see an immediate drop in on-street violence and vandalism now that a good number of people will have to find other places to go, my better sense suggests to me that this will not conveniently be so, and let me explain.

    The stabbings, drug deals and other mayhem at places like Kerouac Park, the Mary Bacigalupo Victorian Garden, parking lots adjacent to Market Mills and the National Park Visitors Center, and areas leading to and from the Mass Mills apartments, are not, in my experience and observation, directly related to downtown hospitality establishments. In fact, with fewer later evening patrons frequenting our various downtown hospitality establishments, the streets will be that much more empty, and that much more inviting to the most extremely unwanted types who flourish when traffic subsides. If you study the crime statistics at places like crimemapping.com, the times and places of the worst of the attacks (armed robberies, stabbings, etc.) are not all geographically well coordinated with the places most people like best to hate.

    My fear is that people will turn off their LTC feeds and feel like something has been accomplished here. In point of fact, walking amidst the worst of our downtown problems seven days a week, I would say that a lot of people are missing an increasingly dangerous forest for a few high-profile trees. Unless and until the police start enforcing public intoxication rules in our parking garages, and increasing patrols to the most dangerous places in our downtown, like Kerouac Park, the real problem people down here are not going to be inconvenienced by this particular business execution. (For that’s what this is–the deliberate snuffing out of a business, and please let’s all consider and hold out some sympathy for the good number of innocent people who just lost their jobs as a result of this).

    “Downtown disorder” is more complicated than can be laid at the feet of one particular bar. (Or two–observing that the Smokehouse just got their 8 day suspension enforced for other the July 4th week).

  4. joe from Lowell Says:

    With everything that’s been going on, a manager of a downtown bar should be making extra sure his nose is clean.

    You know they’re looking for someone to make an example of.

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