Subcommittee hears testimony on Visions’ liquor license, will continue at October meeting

Subcommittee hears testimony on Visions’ liquor license, will continue at October meeting

A subcommittee reviewing the liquor license for Visions Nightclub began proceedings Tuesday. It is expected to be the first of at least three meetings in which the city of Madison would have to prove the club does not deserve to keep its license to serve alcohol.

The potential revocation came after an attorney with the city of Madison filed a 56-page complaint against the club, alleging multiple instances of misconduct and neighborhood nuisance. The complaint said police were called to the location of the club 50 times since 2012 for disturbances. It also said a city inspector found zoning problems and not permitted work on the building, as well as evidence the club had bought liquor from a local retailer and used it to refill bottles at the bar.

The ALRC subcommittee reviewing Visions Nightclub’s liquor license is meeting now. This is considered day one of a quasi-judicial process in which the city will have to prove that the club no longer deserves to keep its licenses for both alcohol and adult entertainment. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/HDqHzI8fK4

— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) September 24, 2019

In August the city attorney’s office issued a summons to the business to appear before the Alcohol License Review Committee to discuss revoking the licenses, during which the committee voted to send the matter to a subcommittee.

Before interviews began at the hearing Tuesday, the attorney for Visions asked for multiple motions for the subcommittee to consider, including not using much of the complaint that references events before 2018.

“Going back farther and farther into the past, every year back you go those incidents become more and more impossible for the party defending those allegations to investigate,” said Jeff Scott Olson, Visions’ attorney.

The subcommittee partially granted the request, allowing only for incidents that happened within the last two years, which corresponds with the statute of limitations for city ordinance violations. This move eliminated about 40 pages of the complaint from the discussion.

The city of Madison attorney brought multiple witnesses to testify, including a building inspection supervisor who talked about permitting violations he found while inspecting the building in December 2018.

Two police officers talked about instances in which they were called to Visions for fights or suspected overdoses.

Officer Dan Frei explained one incident that led to a man going to the hospital after a fight over who would play a boxing game at Visions.

“While these two the male and the biker were kind of discussing this, another biker had come up from behind him and grabbed the male from behind in a bear hug,” Frei said. “And then the main suspect had punched the victim, and then they took him to the ground and all the bikers, six total, started kicking him until he was unconscious.”

The subcommittee still has more testimony to get through. It is scheduled to resume discussion at its next meeting on Oct. 29.

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