Michael I. Halfacre, the former Director of the NJ Division Alcoholic Beverage Control, has been named the Executive Director of the Beer Wholesalers Association of New Jersey, effective January 4, 2016. He will remain Of Counsel to Genova Burns, the law firm he joined upon leaving the ABC last summer. Halfacre is replacing Robert J. Pinard, who is retiring after directing the trade association since 1992.
“Michael Halfacre brings an outstanding record as a legal professional, as well as his regulatory background, that will be vital to leading the Beer Wholesalers Association of New Jersey,” said Mark Kramer, President of Kramer Beverage and Chairman of the associations Executive Committee.
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.
The years are supposed to go by faster as we get older. 2013 missed the memo, at least for me. President Obama’s second Inauguration and Freeholder John Curley’s second swearing in seem like a long time ago.
Selikia Joshia Gore started us off in 2013 with a timeless call to renew our humanity; the ongoing struggle of saints and sinners to love one another regardless of standing, status or creed. It is a winning message that works only by embracing our failures without resigning to them.
The Governor. Governor Chris Christie started the year lambasting House Speaker John Boehner and the Congressional Republicans for playing politics with Superstorm Sandy aid and ended the year as the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. In between he built a bi-partisan and multi-cultural coalition that reelected him with over 60% of the vote in Blue Jersey. Christie had the best year of any politician in America. Only Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin had better years globally.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Menendez started the year on the losers list. Embroiled in a sandal of allegations of his cavorting with teenaged girls in the Dominican Republic and using the powers of his office to benefit the businesses of the donor who arranged the party, speculation was that he would resign as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, if not his Senate seat. Menendez seems to have survived an FBI investigation into his relationship with Dr. Saloman Melgan unscathed.
At the end of the year, Menendez’s position seems secure. He is the leading, and most powerful, critic of President Obama’s foreign policy. His approval ratings are net positive 22 points in the last Monmouth University Poll. He got engaged to be married earlier this month.
Given where he started, Menendez may have had the best 2013 of any New Jersey public figure, other than Christie.
The Gramiccionis. The Wall Township power couple had a very good year. In March, Christopher, the Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor and U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, received orders to report for a 9 month tour of active duty in Afghanistan effective in August. Those orders were canceled in July, keeping Chris on the job fighting crime in Monmouth County and home for the holidays. Deborah was appointed by Governor Christie to be the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The job pays $289,657.
Monmouth County Republicans. Sheriff Shaun Golden, Freeholder Director Tom Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso were always expected to be reelected on the strength of their records and due to the fact that Monmouth County Independent voters usually vote Republican. They make the winners list by virtue of fact that they ran as if they were behind, not taking any votes for granted. More importantly, they ran a positive campaign based on reducing spending, holding the line on taxes, and improving services, in the face of yet another negative campaign on the part of the Monmouth County Democrats.
Monmouth County’s Legislative Delegation. Each member of Monmouth County’s Legislative Delegation deserves more recognition than space will allow.
The segment was bumped by the Short Hills Mall shooting story. It is now rescheduled for Tuesday between 7:30am and 8am.
Tune into NBC Monday morning between 7:30 and 8 or set your DVR to catch some familiar faces, including your favorite blogger, demonstrating the dangers for drinking too much during the holiday season, or anytime, especially if you plan to drive.
James Hertler, below, shut down Lucky Break Billiards in September, a month after police cracked down over BYOB issues. (Click to enlarge) By JOHN T. WARD How’s this for an auspicious start for a business?• In early 2011, in an effort to spice up…
-Briad Group Will Employ Compliance Officer and Update Employee Training and Inventory Software —
photo via facebook
TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Director Michael Halfacre today announced that the Briad Group, a franchisee of the T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants in New Jersey raided in May as part of “Operation Swill,” will pay a fine of $500,000 and not contest charges that eight of its restaurants were serving customers alcoholic beverages other than what they ordered.
“Briad’s restaurants were scamming customers by serving them a cheap substitute for what they ordered,” said Acting Attorney General Hoffman. “This unlawful practice took advantage of consumers who were cheated out of what they thought they were purchasing. This fine should send a clear message to every bar and restaurant throughout New Jersey that customers should get what they pay for every time without exception.”
ABC and Division of Criminal Justice Investigators raided 13 T.G.I. Friday’s owned by Briad during “Operation Swill” and seized approximately 250 bottles of spirits from those locations. Eight of those establishments were charged and included in the settlement. Those locations were in West Orange, East Windsor, Old Bridge, Piscataway, Freehold, Marlboro, Hazlet and Linden.
As part of the settlement, Briad will employ an ABC-appointed monitor through June 30, 2014. The compliance officer will have the full cooperation of Briad’s restaurants and its employees as well as access to all books, records, compensation programs and any other information the monitor deems appropriate. The compliance officer will then report his findings to the ABC. In addition, Briad will make internal changes that include updating employee training and inventory software.
As Revelers Return to Jersey Shore, Cops in Shops back for 17th Year
Division of Alcohol Beverage Control graphic
BELMAR – With the business of summer getting back to usual at the Jersey Shore, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control today joined with other state, county and local officials to announce the summer kickoff of its successful “Cops in Shops” enforcement initiative.
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. Cops in Shops is a program designed by the Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers. The New Jersey Cops in Shops program is recognized nationally as a successful program.
“Hurricane Sandy did some damage, but we are proud to be back here at the Shore,” said Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre. “Given the incredible progress this area has made in the last eight months, people are again flocking to their favorite spots along the Jersey Shore. They’re back, which means we’re back.”
“Attitudes among some adults and young people about the dangers of underage drinking can range from indifferent to dismissive, making our job that much more challenging. But that’s a challenge we embrace at the ABC because we are committed to preserving the physical and emotional health of the young people in New Jersey,” he said.
This summer, 28 Shore police departments are participating in the program, with approximately $61,000 in funding provided by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety.