The B.O.B. Fights to Keep Liquor License; Owner Greg Gilmore Testifies

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-14 21:53:28-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 14, 2014) — The B.O.B. liquor hearing resumed Friday in Grand Rapids at the state liquor control commission.

The drinking establishment faces three charges regarding the death of Kevin O’Brien. The 36-year-old died after falling from a fourth-floor railing in the restaurant’s stairwell. He reportedly was trying to slide down the rail.

Charges include serving alcohol to an intoxicated person, overserving alcohol and allowing that person to loiter. The B.O.B. could be fined or have its liquor license revoked or suspended.

Will the B.O.B.’s liquor license be suspended, revoked or will the establishment be fined for the actions leading up to a customer’s death? That’s what’s at stake. The attorneys on both sides made their case, and we heard from B.O.B. owner Greg Gilmore.

Gilmore, who’s CEO of the Gilmore Collection, testified after getting cited by the state liquor control commission. He explained the changes made to his establishment since O’Brien’s deadly fall down the fourth-floor stairwell on May 13, 2013.

Gilmore said, “We enclosed the stairwell… so nobody could ever make another decision to ride the rail, and it’s totally enclosed. We spent another $60,000 on that.”

He said his company spent $50,000 more on a security system for the B.O.B.

The liquor control commissioner will weigh two days worth of testimony from multiple witnesses. On day one, January 16th, we heard from the doctor who examined O’Brien’s toxicology reports. Dr. Stark said he found trace amounts of cocaine in O’Brien’s system. We also heard from the man who said he saw O’Brien fall down the stairwell.

“I reached in to try to grab his legs, but he was too far gone and i just grabbed on to the rail so tightly, looked down. As he was falling down, he hit the rails going down to… Before he hit the floor,” the man remained unidentified at police request.

A friend stated that O’Brien was a regular at the establishment. An acquaintance testified that he ran into O’Brien that night and testified O’Brien appeared drunk and was shifting from side to side.

On the contrary, employees of the B.O.B.  (including a former waitress) testified that O’Brien did not appear intoxicated as they served him alcohol the night of his death.

Commissioner Ed Clemente has 45 days to issue his decision. However, he said he expects to decide much sooner. Clemente said suspending a business’ liquor license isn’t common but it’s not unheard of.

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