Change backed for wording of license, permit applications
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – To clarify background information required to disclose on a license or permit application, the village’s Public Works and Protection Committee recommended a wording revision Dec. 1.
The committee previously discussed problems with applicants not disclosing information and subsequently being denied a bartender’s license, for instance, in response to the question: “Have you ever been arrested and/or convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, citation or ordinance violation?”
The proposed new wording backed by the committee states: “Have you ever been arrested and/or convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, operating under the influence, criminal traffic, or non-traffic ordinance violation? Please note: All offenses MUST be listed. All charges that were part of a plea agreement STILL must be listed on this application. Failure to do so will result in automatic denial of your license application due to failure to disclose all charges.”
The language also makes reference to the Wisconsin Court System website to search the state’s court records.
Village Attorney Tony Wachewicz said the village may only consider pending arrest records or what an applicant has been convicted of, and not charges read in or dismissed, when reviewing a license or permit application.
“If we’re looking at dismissed or read-in (charges) – they aren’t necessarily convicted and those matters have been concluded, so they’re no longer pending – that just creates more risk as far as a claim of employment discrimination,” he said.
Wachewicz said the village could consider a plea agreement conviction “and then make a determination as far as whether that’s substantially related to the license activity that they’re applying for.”
Public Safety Chief Brian Uhl said applicants are being informed by the clerk-treasurer’s office they must list all of their offenses.
“I don’t know that they’re actually going back and looking through CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs), for example, and seeing what charges they actually have,” he said. “They’re just kind of relying, I guess, maybe on memory.”
Uhl said he believes it will be beneficial for the proposed new language for background checks on license and permit applications to list the online link for a case search at: wicourts.gov/casesearch.htm
“You guys now know that we’ve given them all the information, we’ve given them a location to look at it, other than word of mouth from (Deputy Clerk Beth Stein),” he said. “And if they don’t list it, then it should be easy for all of us to say, ‘Well, you failed to disclose, it’s an automatic denial, we gave you all of that information.’”
The committee and village board in recent months has dealt with some appeals of license denials from applicants who did not fully disclose the required information.
The proposed language revision was sought by Trustee Allison Williams.
“It looks like this is exactly what I wanted,” she said. “I think this will be great, because it says all offenses must be listed and failure to do so. It’s right in front of you what’s going to happen if you fail to list, and then I have a lot harder (time believing someone) saying, ‘Oh, I forgot it.’ Well, read (the application). If you can’t read, then I don’t know if I want you selling liquor.”
The proposed language revision is being forwarded to the village board for final approval at its Dec. 15 meeting.
Epic liquor license
In other action, the committee recommended issuing a Class B Beer/Class B Liquor license to Boomerang Management, doing business as the Epic Event Center, which is nearing completion of refurbishing the former Gordman’s department store at 2351 Holmgren into an entertainment venue and wants to offer patrons alcoholic beverages.