The Alcoholic Beverages Division administrator has upheld a Department of Inspections and Appeals decision that stated the city of Davenport did not have sufficient cause to revoke Shenanigans' liquor license.
In 2015, the city filed a petition to revoke Shenanigans' liquor license on the grounds that the business permitted or failed to control illegal activity on its property and that it's owner, Burton Davison, lacked the "good moral character" required by state law to hold a liquor license.
A stabbing incident on Halloween night and another series of incidents were cited in the argument that the bar posed "an immediate danger to the welfare, health, peace, morals and safety of the citizens of Iowa" and the subsequent decision to grant a suspension order.
Last year, however, Administrative Law Judge Margaret LaMarche vacated the suspension order and reinstated Shenanigan's license, prompting the city to file an appeal.
“The State of Iowa’s January 13, 2017 decision affirmed that Shenanigans was operating their establishment lawfully in downtown Davenport," attorney Mike Meloy said. "This is an important property rights ruling for all Davenport businesses.”
The city contended that stabbing of Antonio Thomas, who was wounded 13 times, occurred on Shenanigans premises, but in in reviewing the evidence, Administrator Stephen Larson determined it was entirely unclear where the stabbing occurred.
As to the argument that Davison lacks the "good moral character" required by state law, Larson ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the claim.
The city had cited a 2015 incident in Davison's past in which he was arrested and charged with aggravated misdemeanor assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon.
Davison pleaded guilty and was given a deferred judgment by the court with unsupervised probation for six months.
In vacating the suspension order last year, the administrative law judge ruled that Davison's conduct was an isolated incident and there was not sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that we was ineligible to hold a liquor license.
The city has 30 days from Jan. 13 to file an appeal with the Iowa District Court. Davenport officials have not responded to requests for comment.