Albany, NY – The New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) summarily suspended the license of Manhattan River Group LLC., doing business as “La Marina” at 348 Dyckman Street in Manhattan. The suspension was ordered by Chairman Vincent Bradley and Commissioner Lily Fan at a meeting of the Full Board on December 5, 2018. Effective immediately, no alcohol may be sold or consumed on the premises. During the suspension period the SLA intends to seek the permanent cancelation or revocation of the license.
On November 20, 2018, an ongoing investigation by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) led to the arrest of a manager of La Marina for selling narcotics inside the premise. On seven separate occasions from July 27, 2018 to October 5, 2018, the La Marina employee sold large amounts of cocaine, oxycodone and other narcotics to undercover NYPD detectives. When the manager was arrested on felony charges on November 20th in front of the Dyckman restaurant, he was found in possession of thirty-two MDMA pills and a bag containing marijuana.
On December 4th, the SLA charged La Marina with sixteen violations of the ABC Law, including seven counts of operating a disorderly premises for permitting the trafficking of controlled substances, six violations for fire, health and safety code violations, in addition to becoming a focal point for police attention.
Additionally, based on a joint inspection by the NYPD, NYC Department of Health, NYC Department of Buildings, NYS Workers’ Compensation Board and the SLA on July 13, 2018, the SLA charged La Marina with 72 violations of the ABC Law, including numerous serious health and building code violations, in addition to selling to a minor, selling to an intoxicated person and extending the premises to the outside without SLA approval. This case is pending before the SLA.
“When a bar manager is able to traffic and sell these types and quantities of narcotics from within an establishment it is incredibly alarming, and it is evidence of the serious threat that this establishment poses to the health, safety, and welfare of its patrons and the community,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano. “Licensees have an responsibility to ensure their establishments are operating within the law, and the SLA is obligated to take emergency action as it is clear that this licensee has failed to take any meaningful actions to protect the public.”
The State Administrative Procedure Act authorizes a State agency to summarily suspend a license when the agency finds that public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. When the SLA summarily suspends a license, it also serves a Notice of Pleading alleging one or more disciplinary violations. In invoking a summary suspension, the SLA has deemed the violation to be sufficiently serious upon initial review to warrant an immediate suspension. The SLA’s decision to summarily suspend a license is not a final determination on the merits of the case. The licensee is entitled to an expedited administrative law hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. An order of summary suspension remains in effect until such time as it is modified by the SLA or a reviewing Court.