Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bribe me with your best shot.


Finally got to see the part of the Milwaukee Licensing hearing for the Class B Tavern License for Inderjeet Dhillon that Dan Bice wrote about here. To say it was weird would be an understatement.

First it started out with Mr. Dhillon hanging in the hallway and as Chairman Tony Zielinski was almost ready to move on without hearing the case he finds out Mr. Dhillon is outside the hearing room and instructs him to come in.  At first he comes in alone, so I’m assuming he was waiting for his council David Carr, former Mayor Marvin Pratt and supporter Juan Carlos Ruiz to show up.  They did show up during questioning.

The people in opposition to Mr. Dhillon provided some of the most intense testimony I’ve ever heard.  After the second person finished her testimony an alarm goes off telling people they should evacuate the building.  Haven’t heard why and it wasn’t mentioned at the hearing.  Sylvia Ortiz who I hope will against Peggy Romo-West again for county supervisor was one of those testifying against the application.  To say this young lady is much better spoken then Romo-West is no exaggeration.

Former Alderman Jim Witkowiak was up next and his testimony was sobering. He ended by say that if the city gave a license to a person of such ill character he’d be shocked and most disappointed.  Ald. Joe Dudzik was the only committee member to ask any questions of Mr. Witkowiak and asked how many times has this type of activity happened to him.  His answer was that he’d been approached in the past and told by people “We will take care of you, we will take care of you.”  But Witkowiak said he has never taken a bribe before. 

When called upon to ask question of Mr. Witkowiak the council David Carr asked for short five-minute recess.

After a ten-minute request and the Dhillon team still not in the room, Ald. Zielinski called on people who supported the license to begin to testify.  After the first person testified, Mr. Carr and Mr. Dhillon returned to the room and Mr. Carr told the panel he and his law firm were withdrawing. Then Mr. Pratt came in and also said he was interested in saving his reputation and was also bolting.  Mr. Carlos Ruiz never came back.

Chairman Ald. Zielinski was quite short with those who testifying in the affirmative.  It was easy to see he was disgusted at what had transpired. 

Mr. Dhillon had very little to say other then he had made mistakes in the past and he needed a business to fill the building he had purchased or he wouldn’t be able to pay his taxes.  He made no mention of Mr. Witkowiak’s testimony.

I don’t see Mr. Dhillon ever getting a liquor license in the city of Milwaukee. 

It will also be interesting to see if the claim by former Alderman Witkowiak has any legs to other aldermen.

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