• Wed. Nov 16th, 2022

What to expect at the Ballard’s Beach Resort Demo Hearing

ByJean A. Francis

Aug 19, 2022

PROVIDENCE – On Monday evening, New Shoreham City Council will be seated as if for a council meeting. But council members will be there for a different reason: a demonstration hearing to decide whether Ballard’s Beach Resort – which is facing a backlash after a fight at a crowded music festival led to arrests at the site and more late at the Block Island Ferry on August 8 – will be able to retain their liquor and entertainment licenses.

A show cause hearing has different rules. Unlike a council meeting, no public comment is allowed during a show cause hearing, which is essentially a mini-trial. Residents or local business owners in attendance will not have a chance to speak unless called to testify by the city or by attorneys representing Ballard’s.

While many towns have independent liquor boards, New Shoreham City Council also acts as licensing commissioner. This means the same body that voted unanimously on Aug. 11 to hold the show cause hearing will also hear testimony and decide whether or not to revoke Ballard’s liquor and entertainment licenses.

Pawtucket’s Bruce Darelius told The Globe on August 9 that Ballard’s was “complete chaos” during the music festival. He recorded a fight on his phone, but said “there were three or four before that”.

WPRI-TV reported that a fight at Ballard’s on Monday led to the cancellation of the Rhythm & Roots festival scheduled for August 21.

The turmoil spread to the Block Island ferry line, where hundreds of people waited to return to mainland Rhode Island. According to state police, the fight on the ferry began around 9:35 p.m. State troopers and officers from the Narragansett, North Kingstown and South Kingstown Police Departments responded to a report of a disruption on the ferry as it returned to port. of Galilee.

Emergency services and law enforcement boarded the ferry, secured the vessel and arrested those involved. Three of those arrested appeared in court on August 17 and pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct charges.

The city council called an emergency meeting two days later to discuss the fights and decided to schedule a show cause hearing before the city’s liquor board.

City council may decide to hold a show cause hearing if there is an allegation that a business has broken the law. That company is then called before the board to “show the case” or give a reason why their license should not be fined, suspended or revoked.

The city will be represented by North Kingstown attorneys Nick Solitro of Robert E. Craven & Associates and James Callaghan of Callaghan & Callaghan.

Ballard’s will be represented by Justin T. Bonnick of LaPlante Sowa Goldman in Cranston.

At the hearing, evidence will be presented to show whether or not there has been a violation of the law. The board will act as an investigator and then decide whether this action is warranted.

Witnesses will be presented by the city by direct examination, and Ballard’s attorney may cross-examine.

The 5 p.m. hearing will be open to the public and broadcast on the New Shoreham City Council Youtube Channel.

Carlos Muñoz can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ReadCarlos and on Instagram @Carlosbrknews. Alexa Gagosz can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.