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Softball officials fined over tip jars

December 04, 1996

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Two officers of the Pinesburg Boys Softball Team have been fined a total of $23,500 for alleged tip jar violations, according to the Washington County Gaming Commission.

Richard Harold Jackson, of 12482 Harvey Road, Clear Spring, listed as the team's manager, was cited for 27 alleged violations and fined a total of $15,500.

Teresa Ann Shoemaker, of 1 N. Commerce St., Williamsport, listed as a team officer, was cited for 12 alleged violations, for which she was fined $8,000.

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The citations were issued after Washington County sheriff's deputies on Aug. 31 visited the Wilson Ruritan ball field where the team played. The deputies went to the field after hearing allegations of unlicensed tip jar sales.

Jackson was issued one $1,500 citation for allegedly not having a tip jar license, according to gaming commission documents. He received an additional 26 citations for alleged failure to have a gaming commission sticker on a tip jar, tip jar packet or seal card possessed or sold. Each of those citations carried a $500 fine.

The maximum possible fine for each citation was $1,500.

Jackson requested a hearing before an administrative law judge to contest the citations and fines.

His letter requesting that hearing wasn't filed with the gaming commission within the 15-day limit spelled out at the bottom of the citations, and the gaming commission wrote back to say the administrative penalties were final and the fines must be paid.

Bill Schildt, attorney for the gaming commission, said softball teams can get as many as four temporary gaming licenses a year to use for an event.

Nonprofit organizations may get four temporary gaming licenses within a 12-month period from July to July. The temporary gaming licenses cost $20 each and allows gaming at an event which might be one-day long or last for several consecutive days.

Schildt said the commission's next step will be to go to Washington County District Court and seek a judgment against Jackson and Shoemaker for payment of the fines.

"I'm still going to fight this,'' Jackson said of the citations lodged against him. He said he planned to hire a lawyer.

Calls to Shoemaker weren't returned.

Jackson said in a telephone conversation that he knew the adult softball club he managed didn't have a temporary gaming license during the period on the citations, June 27-Aug. 31.

"Those jars were left up there at the ballfield from before,'' Jackson said, noting that the team has had temporary gaming licenses.

Jackson said the money from tip jars is used to pay for things like uniforms, supplies, travel and referees for the nonprofit ball club.

Gaming commission records show that the Pinesburg Boys Softball Team took in $8,416 in tip jar revenues in four one-day events between July 1995 and March 1996, according to Kathy Sterling, gaming commission coordinator.

The team gets to keep all but the cost of the jars and supplies, she said.

"Shoemaker applied for a fifth temporary license in March and I turned down the request,'' Sterling said.

After four events, permission must be granted for more temporary licenses in a year, Sterling said.

On July 19 and Aug. 9, the team applied for and received two temporary licenses, both for bonanza nights at the Williamsport Fire Hall.

"They took in $4,225 at those two events,'' Sterling said.

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