Del. R. Terry Connelly may have lost the election last month, but a law he helped get approved last winter has helped do him one final favor: It rid him of his brother and sister-in-law from inclusion on the liquor license of his tavern, which is embroiled in a family dispute.
Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge J. Norris Byrnes Friday ordered the license to T.G. Boomer's renewed, using only the names of R. Terry Connelly, and his younger brother, Gregory Connelly, who are secretary-treasurer and president, respectively, of Connelly Enterprises Inc.
Judge Byrnes said the new law clarified the situation, although he probably would have ruled the same way without it.
Terry's older brother, Gordon, and Gordon's wife, Darlene, who were originally licensees and corporate officers, were effectively bumped from the license. They had been removed as corporate officers of the Essex bar a year ago after a family dispute over its operation.
Gordon and Darlene used to operate the bar, in the first block of South Margaret Ave., after the family formed the corporation and bought it in January 1988.
After Terry and Gregory ousted Gordon and Darlene as operators of the bar, Gordon and Darlene closed it and took the license with them. They returned it weeks later under a court order. Terry and Gregory have operated the place since.
The next problem came in May, when all county liquor licenses are required to be renewed. Gordon and Darlene refused to sign the renewal forms, and the county liquor board refused to renew the license without all the licensees' signatures.
Terry and Gregory got a court order within days of the May 1 renewal date, however, keeping the license alive until the mess could be worked out in a court hearing.
The feuding brothers, meanwhile, failed to reach any agreement severing their business ties.
A new law, which Terry supported in committee but abstained from voting on in a final vote, allows a corporation with a liquor license to remove names from the license if those people have been removed as corporate officers. It was approved as emergency legislation, which means it became effective immediately on April 10, the day Gov. William Donald Schaefer signed it.
When questioned about it last spring, Connelly said he did remember saying that the bill proposing the new law might help resolve his personal problems, but claimed he abstained from voting on the measure because of his personal interest. General Assembly records showed that he did vote for it in committee, however, and he acknowledged that he spoke to the sponsor, Del. Donald G. Hammen, D-City, and advised him on its consideration by the House Economic Matters Committee.
In the Sept. 11 primary, Connelly, D-Balto. Co., chairman of the county delegation in the House of Delegates, came in fifth and last, 890 votes behind leader E. Farrell Maddox.