Baltimore liquor commissioners suspended the liquor license yesterday of a downtown nightclub linked to former heavyweight boxing champion Hasim S. Rahman, who has found himself in a series of troubles since winning his crown.
The Emineo, the site of a homicide this week, must suspend its operations immediately and transfer its liquor license as a result of March 3 violations that include illegal use of adult entertainment, said Nathan C. Irby Jr., executive secretary of the city's three-member liquor board.
Rahman, 29, the Baltimore native who lost his boxing crown in November, has a financial interest in the Emineo, which has operated for less than a year.
Rahman said yesterday that he is paid for the use of his name and reputation in association with the Emineo, but denied that he owns the establishment.
"They were paying me to use my name," Rahman said. "I'm affiliated. The club made me some payments and brought me in as a spokesperson for the new club."
The nightclub was fined $2,500 for the March 3 violations, which also included consumption of alcohol after a 2 a.m. curfew.
Although the club is effectively shut down as a result of yesterday's ruling, Rahman said he is severing ties with the business.
"As of now, I am no longer associated," he said. "I'll no longer accept the money."
Rahman did not specify the amount he received for lending his name to the nightclub.
The club was in the news this week when Raynaldo Allen, 27, was fatally shot outside the door at 2 a.m. Monday. Witnesses told police that he had been apparently enjoying himself inside and that they saw no signs of a conflict. Police have made no arrests.
Liquor board officials said the killing was not the reason for the action taken yesterday.
"The homicide wasn't a driving force," Irby said. "We had grave concerns about the management of the facility."
He also said that the nightclub management showed a notable lack of cooperation with law enforcement and other city agencies. Details on the nature of the violations at the club were not immediately available.
Rahman has been troubled by several incidents of negative publicity since April of last year, when he became heavyweight champ. He was named but not charged a year ago in a federal money-laundering investigation of a cousin convicted of drug offenses. And in March, two shooting victims were found dead in a car that he owned in Northwest Baltimore.
Rahman has not been implicated in the deaths.
The former boxing champion said the nightclub, a short walk from the Inner Harbor in the first block of S. Calvert St., had promised patrons a higher standard of decorum, dress and security.
"I was told it would be upscale with a dress code, nice shoes and shirts and lots of security," Rahman said.
Although Rahman shrugged off the liquor board ruling - "It's not my club, so it doesn't matter to me," he said - he expressed dismay at what he called a security lapse that led to the street shooting.
"I guess when you allow the security to lapse then that's the kind of element you'll allow in clubs in this city," he said.
Sun staff writer Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.