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GM of Charlie’s in Potterville ordered to apologize to investigator

A judge called the GM’s conduct akin to that of a toddler acting out.
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST
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POTTERVILLE, Mich. (WILX) - An administrative law judge has issued an order stating the general manager of Charlie’s in Potterville must issue a written apology to the investigator who the judge says was simply doing his job.

The owner admitted to and agreed that the conduct of the bar’s general manager, his brother, was completely and totally unacceptable. He apologized on behalf of his brother for the mistreatment of the Commission’s investigator, who did nothing wrong.

“We’re the victim here in my opinion. I mean, we made “the mistake” according to this new protocol that’s moving all over the place all the time for the last year,” said John Devine, General Manager of Charlie’s Bar & Grill.

Devine says he and his wife have been running the restaurant so some of his frequent customers offered to help him out.

“I had a couple of guys that were around that, you know, it’s 25 years. You get some dudes who come around there forever and you get to know them,” said Devine. “And they want excuses to maybe come out or whatever, some of these guys are retired.”

He says he would let them come out and help and would repay them in food.

When the investigator came into the bar asking for a burger, Devine says he feels he was being unfair.

“My wife might have thought he was with a couple of guys that I was feeding and he was talking about -- according to the guys at the rail and my wife. He was talking about not liking the lockdown and he can’t wait until this is over,” said Devine.

“We already had to adhere and took our spank financially in the fine and then had to deal with the suspension. The things that they do to you...that really cost. But now all of sudden you’re going to sentence someone to a personal apology. That’s not about healing and mending fences. That’s about dominance,” said Devine.

“The Licensee’s general manager’s conduct here was entirely unacceptable and was akin to a toddler acting out,” the order from Administrative Law Judge Michael J. St. John read in part. “The GM’s frustration was understandable, but it was severely misplaced and is inappropriate lashing out at a public servant doing his job is unacceptable. This continued for several minutes even after his wife and the officer accompanying the investigator urged the GM to tone it down. This temper tantrum on the part of the GM resulted in a full $600 fine and an extension of the suspension in this case.”

St. John issued the order which includes a $600 fine and a 23-day suspension of liquor license. The suspension is scheduled to be lifted at 7:00 a.m. on Jan. 15.

The establishment’s nine previous violations were considered by the judge in determining the most recent penalties. Read the full order below.

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