Tavern manager learns a painful $1,500 lesson

Fine is for selling drinks in a tent without a permit

August 04, 2004

An Ellicott City tavern manager who sold drinks under a parking lot tent for Cinco de Mayo has learned a painful $1,500 lesson - a police telemarketer is not the same as a police officer.

Miriam Eades, manager of La Palapa, in the 8300 block of Main St., told the county Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board last week that she thought Tim Williams, a telemarketer who called on behalf of the Howard County Police Association, was a police officer.

She said she asked him if the May 5 event on the restaurant parking lot is permissible and claimed that he told her it was all right, though Williams later disputed her account of the conversation.

The restaurant's owner, Ana Cortes, said she took Eades' word that the event was OK, until county liquor inspector Martin Johnson drove past during the evening and told her selling drinks outside her building without a permit is illegal - thus the $1,500 fine.

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