1616 Second Ave. v. State Liquor Authority

550 N.E.2d 910 (1990)


P operates a Manhattan restaurant known as Dorrian's Red Hand. P sells alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption under a license issued by D. Dorrian's was connected with a highly publicized 'preppie murder' case because the young victim and the accused killer, Robert Chambers, had been in Dorrian's on August 26, shortly before the crime. D began to closely monitor Dorrian's for violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, especially those involving underage drinkers. P was charged by D with violating the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law by allegedly selling or giving away alcoholic beverages to four underage patrons on November 14-16, 1986. Some of the charges were sustained following a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.  P disputed the matter, and the case was referred to the five Commissioners of D, including its Chairman, respondent Thomas Duffy, for factual review and for determination of an appropriate penalty. After the filing of the charges and the commencement of the hearing, Duffy testified before a legislative committee that oversees D operations. Some of that testimony was focused on the issue of underage drinking and the charges against P. Duffy's public discussion of the charges prompted P to request that Duffy recuse himself on the ground that he had prejudged the matter. Duffy declined to do so and, with his participation, the Commissioners adopted the findings of the Administrative Law Judge and imposed a 10-day suspension, a 10-day deferred suspension, and a $1,000 bond claim. P commenced this proceeding seeking to annul D's determination. The Appellate Division confirmed the determination without comment. P appealed.