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Elgin Moose Lodge incident with police, gaming parlor before commission

Tish Powell

Tish Powell

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Updated: February 8, 2014 6:20AM

ELGIN — An incident involving police and members of the Moose Lodge, and a proposed boutique video gaming parlor, are among the items scheduled to come before the Elgin Liquor Control Commission on Wednesday.

Representatives of Elgin Moose Lodge 799 are to appear to discuss a Sept. 27 incident in which some club members are accused of obstructing police. Officers had gone to the club off McLean Boulevard that day to serve an arrest warrant on club member Anthony Oswald, who was wanted on drug charges in Chicago.

Police said some other Moose members helped Oswald flee the club when officers arrived, then lied to police about the man’s whereabouts. Officers eventually were able to convince members to get the man to return to face arrest, according to a case report.

The evidence pointing toward aiding the suspect was recorded on the club’s own recently installed security cameras, the report stated. The club’s governor, Richard Henson, became argumentative with police about the matter upon returning to the club with Oswald, the report said.

Elgin’s liquor control commission is made up of the entire city council. In that role, its powers include establishing the number of allowed licenses and stipulations for holding them, and fining establishments or taking away licences for inappropriate activity.

The Moose Club has a city-issued liquor license.

Last month, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said he received a letter from the club’s executive board and director noting that Henson had been suspended from the Moose for a year and was not allowed to go into any Moose lodge for that period. Oswald is suspended while his matter is handled by the courts and, if he is found guilty, he will be expelled from the club, according to the letter. There were no disciplinary measures mentioned for other Moose members.

Because he is a Moose member, Kaptain will recuse himself from voting on any actions that might be decided.

In December, Councilwoman Tish Powell said, “I thought that we needed to, at the very least, bring them before the liquor commission based on the events that took place at their property.”

Powell said Monday that she would like to hear from the club on whether any other actions have been taken to discipline other members and if policies have been reviewed or put in place in the aftermath of the incident.

“I want them to understand how serious this was and that we don’t take what happened lightly,” Powell said.

Both Powell and Kaptain said they were unsure if the Moose would be fined, with Kaptain noting there had not been a complaint about the club prior to what happened in September.

Asked if this could adversely impact the Moose Club’s hopes of getting video gaming stations, Powell said members should have thought about that before the incident occurred.

License sought

The commission Wednesday also will discuss with representatives of Crown Pointe Amusement a proposed liquor license in connection with a planned coffee shop and video gaming establishment called Java Jills at 176 E. Chicago St. downtown.

Kaptain said Monday that about a week after Elgin approved allowing video gaming last March, people wanting to start similar type establishments began contacting the city.

Java Jills would target women; sell muffins, coffee and wine; and would seek to have five gaming machines.

Kaptain said he is not inclined to grant adding a liquor license or allowing such a place in Elgin. If it were to be allowed, Kaptain said, there should be restrictions similar to restaurants, with a requirement that there be more business from food than gaming.

Powell said such an establishment is not what she would like to see downtown either.

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