Owner of Steubenville Club Closed After Raid Wants Liquor Licens - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Owner of Steubenville Club Closed After Raid Wants Liquor License Back

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STEUBENVILLE - The owner of a Steubenville club that was forced to shut down after police said it has been a nuisance for years, met with city officials and attorneys to discuss the possibility of obtaining a liquor license on Monday.

Derek Smith, the owner of Club 106, was forced to close for six months, but has since filed a request with the Ohio Department of Liquor Control for a liquor license. City leaders and their attorney sat down with Smith and a hearing officer with the Department of Liquor Control after the city objected to Smith's filing for the liquor license. The city said Club 106 is considered a nuisance due to the illegal sale of alcohol at the club on previous dates.

(Related Story: Club 106 in Steubenville Raided)

An attorney representing the city said Smith has a criminal history and presented numerous case files where Smith was found guilty of such incidents from possession of drugs to child endangerment and illegal sales of alcohol. The attorney also said police has received numerous calls of disturbances with 2013 having 23 calls for shots fired, assaults, search warrants and a shooting on October 27, 2012 with video footage of what happened inside.

The city also pointed out that churches and libraries are located near the club.

An agent with the Ohio Department of Public Safety investigative unit who was involved in a 2013 investigation and raid at the club said that a search warrant served on May 31 turned up 120 people inside, $3,700 in cash, six firearms ( two reported stolen), nine bags of marijuana, baggies of crack cocaine, powered cocaine, and heroin.
Smith, meanwhile, said he was tired of the gun violence, and was happy the authorities took them off the streets

Dolores Wiggins, representing Smith, said Smith's past was his past and he just wants to make a living. She said Smith wants to have his own club for people to go to and have a nice time. Smith also called on Kim Creech, his cousin, at Monday's hearing, who said, "The path that lead us here to this hearing today has been tough. She also said everyone has a past, and that Smith has come a long way, and encouraged those at the hearing to not look at the past, but look at present. Creech said Smith cannot take the blame for what other people have done in his club and said if Smith found out someone that someone had brought a gun or knife in, they were not allowed back.

Smith also called witness Michael Jett who said Smith should not be held accountable for what was found in club during the raid, and "shutting someone down with a criminal record leaves no hope for others looking in."

The Ohio Department of Liquor Control will take Monday's hearing into advisement as it decides the fate of the liquor license.

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