Police and members of the City-County Council say some downtown bars are exploiting loopholes in the alcohol statutes that allow convicted felons to reap profits from liquor sales.
Baron Mays is a self-described promoter who organizes special events at downtown bars. Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Mays is a twice-convicted felon still on probation and house arrest.
Police said his criminal past disqualifies him from any employment in any establishment that serves alcohol.
"Mr. Mays wouldn't qualify for a liquor license. But he's getting all the benefits of having a liquor license. He's able to host events. Obviously, he's collecting some revenue for the sales of people entering these events and from sales of alcohol," IMPD Sgt. Bill Carter said.
In addition to the Club 36 East Pub & Grill, police said that Mays has promoted events at other downtown liquor establishments.
Shawn Williams, the manager at 36 East, said Mays is not associated with the night club.
City-County Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer said that Indianapolis and every other city lacks the requisite authority to take action against liquor establishments that violate or exploit loopholes in the law.
"They should be able to shut that door and shut that business down until they get into compliance. And we can't do that," Pfisterer said.Here's a news flash for Councilor Pfisterer and Sgt. Carter. Mr. Mays, as an independent contractor, is not responsible for the problems that have occurred at this establishment. There is an owner who holds that alcohol permit who is 100% responsible for what goes on inside his or her establishment. If the permit holder is operating a problem establishment, then don't renew the permit. Anyone who has paid any attention to what happens at the Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board knows which establishments have repeated problems complying with state alcohol laws and local ordinances. Most of the time the local board just shakes their finger at the owner and tells them to straighten up their act. If the owner of an establishment utilizes the services of club promoters who draw problem clientele and doesn't have adequate security to deal with issues as they arise, then don't renew their permit. It's that simple. Just ask Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer.