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Funkstown Moose fined $2,500 by liquor board

Club allegedly violated laws by hosting event open to the public

Club allegedly violated laws by hosting event open to the public

February 28, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County liquor officials have levied a $2,500 fine against the Funkstown Moose, in part for an alleged violation of liquor laws in January, when the club held a social event that was open to the public.

Robert L. Everhart, chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, declined comment Wednesday, other than to say he was aware that a letter disclosing the fine had been delivered to the club on Md. 60.

Moose administrator Mike Stumbaugh said Wednesday afternoon the club would pay the fine.

"Our board has decided because of the cost factor, it won't be appealed," Stumbaugh said. "It will cost more to appeal than it would to pay it."

Stumbaugh said the club held a concert Jan. 19, but officials at the lodge did nothing wrong because the event was advertised to members and their qualified guests.

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The liquor board, on the other hand, said the club broke the law by advertising the concert to the public.

Stumbaugh produced a letter written on paper with the liquor board's letterhead that said permission to hold the Jan. 19 concert was given Dec. 13, then rescinded Jan. 2. He said that the letter wasn't delivered to the Moose until Jan. 25, nearly a week after the concert had been held.

An additional claim against the Moose stated that the club was operating with an invalid alcoholic beverage license by advertising not as the Funkstown Moose - its authorized name - but as the Antietam Moose.

Stumbaugh said the club legally changed its name with the state and federal governments, but when club officials tried to change the name with the liquor board, employees issued the wrong paperwork. As a result, the name change wasn't acknowledged after the paperwork was filled out.

The liquor board made its decision based on the findings of a Feb. 13 hearing, at which two of the liquor board's three members and a few Moose representatives were present.

Stumbaugh said the club is allowed to have two events a year to raise money to help pay for the lodge's operating expenses and, therefore, violated no laws.

The liquor board's findings also stated lodge officials failed to prove that the club's international headquarters in Mooseheart, Ill., sanctioned the two events in January. One of those events was not held at the Moose club, but at another location.

Kurt Wehrmeister, director of communications and public affairs for Moose International Inc., said Moose International's general governor will decide whether to take action against the club based on the liquor board's findings.

Wehrmeister said Moose International usually reviews similar situations.

"We require every one of our organizations to abide by the law," Wehrmeister said.

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