Many of you have asked “where are we on the ABC hearing?”
Bluntly we now face yet another twist in our efforts to be heard. Many of you have received a response sent to protestants last week from the Administrative Law Judge, John W. Lewis. Many of you did not. Please open and read the first attachment.
Judge Lewis carefully presided over the two day hearing, held at the Skyline Church on November 16 and 17th. We feel that Judge Lewis conducted a fair hearing and repeatedly asked very specific and probing questions of the parties that provided testimony. He made several statements including admonishing the ABC investigator concerning the lack of information in her investigation. He also questioned why there was no reference to the huge number of protestants in her report nor was such information provided in the recital of the “Whereas” clauses.
Late in the afternoon of Nov. 17th, Pat Webb was allowed by Judge Lewis to submit documents supporting his argument that the ground the casino was built on is not a legal reservation for gambling. Judge Lewis accepted the documents as exhibits, bringing arguments from both the applicants attorneys and the ABC attorney, Jacob Rambo, to disallow the documents. Judge Lewis told them he would review the documents and that his name would be on the decision not theirs. The applicant’s attorney demanded a continuance of the hearing. The Judge granted that and agreed to sometime in January.
We left the hearing feeling hopeful that Judge Lewis would consider the documents, having recognized there is a church in the immediate vicinity, that the roads are not improved and there were no restrictions in place for the serving of alcohol. Such restrictions have been placed on other casinos in San Diego County.
Now, just last week came the Judge’s recusal and the surprising email attachments provided by Judge Lewis in his explanation of his decision. Looking at the dates and the names it seems apparent that there has been action by the ABC Director, Peter Williams, attorney for BCSH, Joe Dhillon, Tribal Liaison for Governor Brown and possible conversations with other state employees to try and dissuade the Judge in ex parte communications, which is patently illegal.
Now the process is up in the air. No surprise that the ABC wants to skip any additional hearing, appoint a new administrative judge and just make their decision. Effectively stripping the protestants of their rights to an open and fair hearing.
Please support JAC with your donation to our legal fund. Please send your donations to:
P.O. Box 1317
Jamul, CA 91935
You may also use Paypal to send a secure donation: