(Franklin) — Deputies with the Heard County Sheriff’s Office seized all of the alcoholic beverages from a local retail store Friday morning following the suspension of the establishment’s alcohol license by the Heard County Board of Commissioners at Thursday’s regular August meeting.
After much discussion Thursday evening the Board, on a motion by District 4 Commissioner Frank Crook and a second by District 1 Commissioner Larry Hooks, unanimously voted to suspend the store’s alcohol license for six months following testimony from County Clerk Patty Jiles and Heard County Deputy Will Hannah about the activities taking place there during the last year.
Jiles reported that workers at the store had been selling alcohol from behind the counter without the required credentials referred to commonly as an alcohol “badge.”
Jiles and Hannah also reported on the recent multiple arrests of one specific store employee, Mr. Gurmeet “Gary” Singh Bhangu. Bhangu has been arrested three times during the past year for either public intoxication or pedestrian under the influence while working at the store.
Chairman Boone also stated that the business itself had not renewed their business license for this calendar year for the operation of the grocery store.
Attorney Ken Gordon spoke at Thursday’s BOC meeting on behalf of the owners of Pop’s Grocery and had suggested a resolution to the issues stating that the owners would obtain a business license and ban Mr. Bhangu from the premises as long as the establishment maintained an alcohol license.
The alcohol was seized by the Heard County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning after the store opened for business Friday morning with alcohol still unlocked on the sales floor.
The suspension of the alcohol license Thursday evening was immediate and according to the Board’s stipulations, the beer and wine were supposed to be locked up immediately.