LINCOLN – Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, Legislative District 28, issued a statement today following the Liquor Control Commissions’ unanimous decision to compel the four liquor stores in Whiteclay to reapply for their liquor licenses.
The decision comes in light of information revealed at the October 11 Hearing on Whiteclay as part of Senators Pansing Brooks’ and Lindstrom’s Interim Study (LR 567) on Whiteclay. At our Interim Hearing, Sheridan County Commissioner Jack Anderson said the County does not have adequate law enforcement to promote public safety and catch potential violations of the Liquor Control Act in Whiteclay.
Senator Pansing Brooks full statement is as follows:
“I want to commend the Liquor Control Commission for its vote today. It is clear to me, through our Interim Study on Whiteclay and through my own communication with other officials, that adequate law enforcement does not exist in that unincorporated area.
As the Transcript from our Interim Hearing shows, Sheridan County Commissioner Jack Anderson said that Sheridan County “absolutely” does not have the adequate resources to provide law enforcement to Whiteclay. On the same day as our Interim Study, a report came out quoting Sheridan County Commissioner James Krotz about the need for funding for public safety in Whiteclay, as well. These comments validate my own understanding from a conversation that I had on my first visit to Whiteclay in May. While there, I talked with Sheriff Terry Robbins for 40 minutes about the adequacy of law enforcement and he indicated he did not have the deputies to send to Whiteclay to adequately monitor liquor violations.
These issues with law enforcement relate to one of the proposals in our multi-faceted plan calling for full-time law enforcement in and around Whiteclay. The reason we have called for added law enforcement is because we believe that law enforcement in Whiteclay is inadequate for public safety. Lack of law enforcement also makes it difficult to uncover and prosecute any and all violations of the Liquor Control Act.
I have been saying since I first became involved with this issue that there is a clearly defined procedure established by the Legislature to evaluate the compliance of all liquor stores, whether in Whiteclay or anywhere else, under the Nebraska Liquor Control Act. That procedure ensures the Due Process rights of all parties. These statutes lay out very clearly the requirement for the adequacy of existing law enforcement in any area that sells alcohol.
I want to thank the Liquor Control Commission for doing their due diligence to ensure that the statutes are met regarding the issuance of liquor licenses. Having the stores go through the long-form process will trigger an evidentiary procedure through which all parties can provide evidence to determine the adequacy of law enforcement in Whiteclay and each liquor store’s compliance. I am grateful and find it appropriate that the Liquor Control Commission voted unanimously to initiate the long-form process regarding alcohol sales in Whiteclay.”