[Mintwood-place] ABRA Incompetent or Night Clubs Protected?
jnixon at toromata.com
Sun Jan 29 09:46:31 EST 2012
Dear Neighbors -
It seems to me as though the Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration
(ABRA) either can not or will not investigate violations by certain
nightclubs on 18th Street. I'd like to share with you my experiences and
see if anyone else has had similar experiences.
On December 16th at 3:53 a.m., my house guest called 9-1-1 to complain that
there was an after-hour party at a nightclub with extremely loud music and
voices both inside and outside. Police officers arrived almost an hour
later and reportedly told the occupants of the club to abide by the noise
This was not the first after-hours activity at this club. Twice this year
I've called the owner's cell phone between 4 and 6 a.m. to ask him to shut
down the noise. Many other times I just put up with the prime-time volume
of music all night long. I resorted to making an official complaint at this
time not to get my neighbor in trouble, but simply to get him to stop the
noise at the legal closing times.
My complaint about the after-hours party was referred to Fred Moosally,
director of ABRA, who informed me by email that the matter would be
assigned for investigation.
More than 30 days passed and no investigator ever contacted me. I wrote to
Mr. Moosally and he replied that he would have an investigator contact me
the next day. Two more days passed and no investigator!
This is not the first time ABRA failed to investigate a complaint. In March
2010, I reported that the same club had set up an illegal valet stand in
front of my business on a Saturday afternoon and effectively shut off
access to my door with its drunk and unruly patrons. An ABRA supervisory
investigator called to the scene by an ANC commissioner assured me that he
would send his best investigator the next day to speak to me. A week passed
and I inquired and was told someone would be contacting me. Of course, no
one from ABRA ever did.
Also, at the October 2011 "Operation Adams Morgan" meeting attended by
Director Moosally, ABC Board members, deputy mayor Quander and Councilman
Graham, myself and others spoke out about the obvious lack of enforcement
of many blatant liquor license violations by certain clubs.
To be clear, these are not anti-nightlife complaints. Most operators in
Adams Morgan are very responsible and conscientious. It's just that a few
bad operators seem to do as they wish without any sort of investigation,
let alone enforcement actions.
So what gives? Is ABRA really so dysfunctional and incompetent that it
can't perform its most basic investigative functions? Or, as many have
suggested to me, do certain nightclubs in Adams Morgan enjoy a special
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