Additionally, the board got support from all permit-holders attending Tuesday’s hearings for a possible city ordinance requiring identification for all alcohol purchases, regardless of the buyer’s apparent age.
“It would provide us cover… because people do get offended (when asked),” said David Smith, attorney for La Scala.
The restaurant at 413 Broad St. received a letter of warning for a first offense after an underage investigator for the Georgia Department of Revenue’s alcohol division was able to buy a beer.
Special Agent Robert Wood said the March 29 sting targeting “about 15” local restaurants was based on a complaint received by the GDOR’s Rome office. There were no other violations.
Smith noted this was La Scala’s first offense in 17 years and the server was fired as per restaurant policy. The mistake happened, he said, when the person seating the investigator took the order and another person delivered it.
An April 25 undercover operation by Rome police checked 65 stores and netted 17 violations.
Three-day suspensions of the alcohol sales permits at Kroger, 1476 Turner McCall Blvd., and Super Food Mart, 304 S. Broad St., were recommended because it was the second offense in less than three years.
Kroger District Manager Ken Young detailed the extensive corporate training program for cashiers and promised the addition of new, quarterly classes.
He called the sale “very disturbing,” saying the cashier admitted “he knew what he was supposed to do and didn’t do it.”
At Super Food Mart, the owner said he created a training manual after the first offense in August 2010. The sale was made by an employee hired less than a month earlier.
Two stores cited for first offenses also are recommended for three-day suspensions.
The permit-holder at Coastal Food Mart, 1701 Turner McCall Blvd., didn’t show up for the hearing despite a hand-delivered notice to the store.
ACC members also expressed skepticism when the owner of Tazo Food Mart, 618 Calhoun Ave., told police he did not know the name of the new employee who made the sale.
The Rome City Commission will rule on the recommendations at its Monday meeting. If approved, the suspensions would run June 7-9.
The clerks who sold alcohol to minors in the Rome police sting were fined $405 each in Municipal Court last week. Most of them also were fired.
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