Police: Charges likely in raid on bar co-owned by delegate

Police seized five electronic gaming machines from Minnick's Restaurant

July 08, 2011|By Steve Kilar and Julie Baughman, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County police are likely to file charges in their investigation of the use of electronic gambling devices at a Dundalk bar co-owned by state Del. Joseph J. "Sonny" Minnick, a police spokeswoman said.

Detective Cathy Batton, the spokeswoman, said she could not discuss the nature of the charges or say who would be charged until the investigation into Minnick's Restaurant is complete.

Baltimore County police raided the restaurant June 29 and seized five electronic gambling devices. Four of the devices were in operation — the maximum allowed under zoning regulations — and the fifth was unplugged and in a storage room, said Batton.

On May 13, the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore County received an anonymous complaint that Minnick's Restaurant was "paying off on machines and have been for years." The machines are licensed by the county for entertainment only. It was the only complaint in the Liquor Board's file for the bar, which has been in operation since the early 1990s and is located at 7100 Sollers Point Road.

The liquor board's chief administrator, Michael Mohler, said Friday that the gambling complaint was referred to police and the board will not take any action on the bar's alcohol license until after police complete their investigation.

Minnick's liquor license is in the name of Joseph J. Minnick, Daniel Minnick and Barbara Jean Minnick, records show.

In January, Minnick's paid $800 to the county to renew licenses on four "coin-operated amusement devices," according to county records. The records indicate that all four devices have been in place at the bar since 1992. The license for the devices is in Daniel Minnick's name.

Attempts Friday to contact Delegate Minnick at his home and at the bar were unsuccessful. An employee at the bar would not speak about the investigation, and neither Daniel nor Barbara Minnick could be reached for comment.

In 2008, Minnick, a Democrat, told The Baltimore Sun that he was against a crackdown on video poker machines led by Comptroller Peter Franchot. He said the bar doesn't make "payouts."

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

xcxjbaughman@baltsun.com

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