Liquor board fines restaurant owner Man's client accused of holding sex show

July 12, 1996|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The city liquor board yesterday fined the owner of a Brooklyn restaurant and catering business $500 for booking a client accused of holding a sex show and gambling party in March.

William B. Councill Jr., owner of Councill's Restaurant and Bakery, testified that he was "not aware of what was going on" at the March 23 party.

"Had I known what was happening, I would have asked that the activity be stopped," Councill told members of the board, "and if it were not stopped, I would have called the police or 911."

Baltimore City police officers raided the Patapsco Avenue catering hall after undercover officers obtained tickets to what was billed as a surprise birthday party.

The undercover officers were acting on a tip from Montgomery County police, who were investigating the promoter of the party -- identified at the hearing as Samuel "Sonny" Serio, a Jessup produce distributor -- for allegedly holding sex shows in South Baltimore.

When the four undercover officers entered Councill's, they saw "nude women walking around and money wheels on the premises," according to city Officer Van E. Watson Jr., who testified before the board.

Sex acts also were performed in the catering hall, Watson said. About 150 people were at the party, he added.

The two dozen officers who streamed into the building did not arrest anyone. However, city police Sgt. James Starleper said their investigation of Serio continues.

Councill has 30 days to appeal the liquor board's decision. If he decides to let the decision stand, he may choose to close his business for five days instead of paying the $500 fine.

The hearing yesterday was the first time Councill's has been charged with liquor violations.

Pub Date: 7/12/96

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