City liquor board suspends license of DiPietro's club Teen-age beer party held in political clubhouse

September 21, 1990|By Martin C. Evans

The b'hoys who hang out at City Councilman Dominic "Mimi" DiPietro's United Democratic Club will still be free to do all the deals they want in the club's smoke-filled rooms, just as they always were.

They just won't be able to wet their whistles while they do it -- not in the last week in September, anyway.

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners ordered the club yesterday to surrender its liquor license for seven days beginning Sept. 28 because the councilman rented the clubhouse, located in a row house at 3723 Claremont Ave., to a teen-age woman who held a beer party there last March 9.

The party, lubricated with several kegs of beer, drew a crowd of more than 250 people, many of them who appeared to be as young as 15 years old, according to a police officer who responded to complaints of noise.

Members of the boisterous crowd packed the house and spilled out onto the street, a normally quiet lane that is the home of working-class Highlandtown families.

Mr. DiPietro, who has represented the 1st District in the council since 1966, rented the hall to Tracy Lyn Allen, a 19-year-old woman, according to a police report. Ms. Allen could not be reached yesterday.

Mr. DiPietro, contacted by a reporter after yesterday's liquor board hearing, admitted to having rented the hall but said he never checked the woman's age.

"We never did ask their age," said Mr. DiPietro, who said he was advised by his attorney not to attend the liquor board hearing. "We always thought people were honest."

"I don't think it's fair," Mr. DiPietro said. "If we rented it to teen-agers, we didn't know it. They didn't tell us."

But the March 9 party was not the first incident of underage drinking at the Democratic club, according to liquor board records. Two similar parties in August 1987 drew police to the club.

The club had faced a more serious charge, that of allowing the sale of liquors to minors. But the board dismissed that charge, ruling that while the officer reported underage drinking, he presented no evidence that the drinks were being sold.

The Democratic Club, which has owned the building since 1926 and has held a liquor license since 1961, holds meetings at the clubhouse on the first Saturday of each month as well as an annual bull roast.

Officers of the club said it routinely rents the building to individuals for baby showers and family events. They said the organization plans to be more careful in the future.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.