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Look back: Cayuga County Board of Health fines bar for smoking | History

Sept. 6, 2007

AUBURN — The Cayuga County Board of Health fined Costello’s bar $1,000 for smoking law violations and refused renewal of its food permit Wednesday.

The unanimous decision was based on the recommendation of hearing officer John Tonzi despite requests by owner Patty Glanville’s attorney to further review the case.

“The action that he took was very drastic — to order this establishment that has been open for decades or generations or both to close,” Utica attorney Kenneth Ray said. “It’s something I think all of you would like to make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.

“Without looking at the evidence and testimony, is this board prepared to make a decision?” he said.

Ray argued the thick transcripts from hearings conducted in June would reveal Costello’s may not fall under the board’s jurisdiction because food is not prepared there, that people who smoked in the bar were warned not to do so and that Glanville is only required to request smoking patrons snuff their butts, not follow up.

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County Attorney Fred Westphal countered that the jurisdiction is clear and Glanville knew what she was doing when she requested patrons to adhere to the Clean Indoor Air Act with a “wink and a nod.”

“It appears the only way to get Mrs. Glanville to comply is to terminate the food service permit,” he said, noting Costello’s had come before the board before for smoking violations.

County health officials observed smoking in the bar on May 3. Three people risked fines to testify that they continued to smoke after Glanville asked them to stop during June hearings.

On Wednesday, the board voted 7-0 to accept Tonzi’s recommendation following an executive session. Ray asked for a 60-day stay on the food permit revocation to allow time for an appeal.

“I think we should continue with what we’ve got,” board member and county Legislator Ann Petrus, R-Brutus, said.

Glanville, who was present, referred all comment to her attorney.

“It’s a really sad thing that they made this decision without reading the transcripts,” Ray said. “To me it was a foregone conclusion.”

— Compiled by David Wilcox

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