Assemblyman Dave Rible confirmed a report by InsiderNJ that Governor Christie has nominated him to be the Director of Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The nomination appeared on the State Senate’s website on Thursday.
“I’m humbled with the Governor’s trust and confidence and I’m excited to move the ABC in a direction that helps both current and future licenses,” Rible, of Wall Township, said in a phone interview with MMM.
Rible said he would not resign his seat in the Assembly, where he holds the #2 Republican leadership position, until his appointment is confirmed by the Senate. Rible said he was uncertain about the timing of his confirmation. It could happen as soon as this month, he said, or it could happen after the election in November. He said he would stand for reelection to the Assembly if he is not confirmed before the election.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Red Bank Council President Art Murphy yesterday when RedBankGreen posted a video of his drunken vulgar rant with former patrons of the former Red Bank business, Lucky Break Billiards.
Before the morning was out, the Asbury Park Press had picked up the story and Red Bank Republican Chairman Sean DiSomma was posting memes of Murphy on facebook. Murphy is a Democrat running for reelection this year. If DiSomma’s GOP candidates beat Murphy and his running mate, Councilman Michael DuPont, Republicans will control the Red Bank municipal government for the first time in this millennium.
Michael Halfacre, the former Mayor of Fair Haven, and as of this morning the former Director of the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control, has joined the prestigious law firm of Genova Burns as Counsel.
Working from the firm’s Red Bank office, Halfacre will be a member of the Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment and Business Law & Commercial Transactions Practice Groups. He will also be available for consultation to the Firm’s Craft Beer, Spirits & Alcohol Law Practice Group.
“Michael’s experience running the ABC these past three years makes him an excellent choice to offer counsel to the Firm’s newly formed Craft Beer, Spirits & Alcohol Law practice group,” said Managing Partner Brian W. Kronick. “Moreover, during his many years in private practice prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office he was highly regarded for his representation of clients in business transactional work and particularly in real estate leasing and transactions. He brings those skills and strategic abilities to the Firm as well.”
In his private practice, Halfacre specialized in transactions, including sales and refinance of commercial real estate and transfers of ABC licenses.
Michael Halfacre submitted his resignation as Director of the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman yesterday, effective June 30,2015.
Under Halfacre’s leadership since March of 2012, the ABC is credited with cracking down on underage drinking, the sale of alcohol to the already intoxicated, and penalizing establishments that were scamming consumers by “drink substitution,” i.e. charging customers for the “top shelf” drinks they ordered while actually serving cheaper booze.
During Halfacre’s tenure, new laws were implemented for the brewing and distilling industry which have lead to an emerging micro brewing industry. Additionally, new rules were written to regulate the direct sale of wine to consumers by out-of-state wineries.
Martell’s Tiki Bar, the popular Pt. Pleasant Beach adult playground, was fined $500,000 and will have its license to serve alcohol suspended for thirty days this fall for over-serving vodka to a female patron who caused a car crash in Old Bridge that killed her and severely injured another woman, according to a settlement with the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control announced by Acting Attorney General John Hoffman.
Ashley Sara Chieco of Wood-Ridge, then 26 years old, drank vodka at Martell’s from 11:07 am on August 16, 2013 until an hour or so before the 6 pm accident in which she was driving the wrong way on Route 18. Chieco was killed and Dana Corrar, then 55, of Old Bridge was severely injured. Chieco left Martell’s in an SUV that did not belong to her, but looked similar to her own vehicle. Her blood alcohol level when she died was .189, more than double the legal limit of .08, according a NJ.com report of incident.
Trenton- Alcohol Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre announced charges against two Jersey Shore area drinking establishments today.
Forked River House of Lacey Township is charged with serving alcohol to actually or apparently intoxicated individuals on six occasions between August of 2012 and March of 2013. In each occasion, the patrons were arrested for driving while intoxicated after leaving the establishment. Their blood alcohol concentration ranged from .15% to .21%. In New Jersey, a person is guilty of drunk driving if their blood alcohol concentration is .08% or greater.
Porta, the Asbury Park pizza restaurant is charged with serving alcohol to two underage women during the summer of 2012. Undercover investigators arrested two 20 year old women for underage drinking on June 9, 2012. A month later investigators arrested a third 20 woman for underage drinking at Porta.
The owners of Tiffany’s Restaurant in Toms River have agreed to sell the establishment’s liquor license rather than contest charges by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control that their bartenders served drinks to visibly intoxicated patrons on three separate occasions, ABC Director Michael Halfacre announced today.
On two of those occasions, two female Tiffany’s patrons were killed in separate drunk driving crashes. In the third, an intoxicated male motorcyclist was injured in a crash.
Bruno D’Uva Sr. and Bruno D’Uva Jr., both of whom own 30 percent of the license, and Lisa Barna, who owns 40 percent, must sell their interests in the license by July 24, 2015 and pay a fine of $200,000. ABC laws prohibit licensed establishments from selling alcoholic beverages to any patrons actually or visibly intoxicated.
Tiffany’s has four other locations in New Jersey, Peaquanock, Pine Brook, Morris Plains and Union. The liquor licenses at those locations are not impacted by this settlement.
-Spicy Cantina & Mexican Grill Fined $15,000 and Will Ban ‘Deena’ for Two Years –
TRENTON – The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control today announced a settlement with the owners of Spicy Cantina & Mexican Grill in Seaside Heights in connection with a June 10 incident involving the television show “The Jersey Shore” and cast member Deena Cortese, who was served alcohol at the establishment while visibly intoxicated.
As part of the settlement, Spicy will be fined $15,000 and Cortese, a New Egypt native, will be banned from the restaurant for two years as part of a special condition on the alcohol license, owned by AFW 500 LLC. Also, Spicy faces a 10-day suspension of their license should they violate the ABC’s laws in the next two years.
“This settlement is a cautionary tale for licensees who might think ignoring the law for the sake of airtime is good for business,” said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre. “By turning a blind eye to the mayhem that can be associated with reality television, you are risking your livelihood. That is, without a doubt, bad for business.”
TRENTON – With just two weekends left in the unofficial summer season, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is warning underage drinkers and those who would help them get alcohol to think twice before they try to buy liquor.
That’s because both local law enforcement and ABC investigators have made more than 200 arrests at the Shore this summer.
“We are going to be relentless in our efforts to combat underage drinking,” said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre. “We are placing a spotlight on everyone involved in this: from the underage person who tries to buy, to the adult who agrees to help them buy, to the bartender who serves them.
The ABC’s enforcement efforts are spearheaded by its Investigations Bureau. Since May, investigators have visited 130 licensed establishments in New Jersey and have carded 1,091 patrons, resulting in 81 arrests relating to the sale, service, or consumption of alcoholic beverages by person underage persons. Investigators are working closely with the State Police and county prosecutor’s offices in many of these details.
Recently, four people, including a bartender, were arrested and charged for underage-related violations at the Sand Bar Restaurant in Brielle. That bartender, Jessica Zeffiro, 28, of Ocean, was alleged to have sold alcohol on August 4 to 31-year-old Valerie Gialanella, of Barnegat, who then passed those drinks to Carly Unger, 19, and Alexa Rickert, 20, of Cedar Grove. Gialenella was charged with providing alcohol to persons under the legal age and Rickert and Unger were charged with consumption of alcohol underage.
That same day, ABC investigators observed Jeffrey M. Santiago, 21, purchase alcohol for Michael Malley, 18, at Corner Liquor Store in Union Beach. The investigators, who were serveiling the store from an adjacent parking lot, arrested Santiago and Malley after the former handed off the alcohol. Both men were Union Beach residents.
30 Shore Law Enforcement Agencies Will Participate in “Cops in Shops” Stings
BELMAR – Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa gathered in Belmar today with state and local officials, as well as members of the liquor and prevention industry to outline his plans to stop underage drinking on the Jersey Shore.
“We all look forward to soaking up the fun of the Jersey Shore this summer, but we’re focused today on a serious mission: keeping the good times safe for our teens and young people,” Chiesa said. “Simply put, I consider underage drinking a threat to the health and well-being of our youth in New Jersey.”
The keystone of the Shore efforts is the “Cops in Shops” program, which is run by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“Cops in Shops” is a program designed by the Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers. Under the program, local police officers work undercover in participating retail locations. Law enforcement officials either pose as store employees or are positioned outside the establishment to apprehend adults who attempt to purchase alcohol for underage drinkers. The New Jersey Cops in Shops program is recognized nationally as a successful program.
“One Shore teenager told us that it was common for her and her friends to wait outside a liquor store for a sympathetic adult to buy them alcohol. She called this ‘Going Fishing,’” Chiesa said. “My message for those teens and adults of a similar mind is this: Simply don’t do it.”