Down goes the liquor commissioner barrier

Don Harmon to the rescue.

With amendment to existing law:

1934 Liquor Control Act established that suburban mayors or presidents would also serve as local liquor control commissioner, and to avoid conflicts of interest they could not hold liquor licenses in the communities that elected them.

The General Assembly amended the law last year to exempt communities of 50,000 or less and provide for delegation of liquor commissioner duties to another official in such cases. With Oak Park’s current populationat about 52,000, the Harmon amendment would slightly increase the exemption so it would apply to communities of 55,000 or less.

Doing so would allow Abu-Taleb to keep his liquor license for Maya del Sol and direct the other members of the Village Board to appoint a replacement liquor commissioner.

The amendment passed the senate 47-3 April 18, will go to the House in “a couple weeks,” reports Patch.

And a comment from a longtime resident of fairly high profile:

7:51 am on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

State Senator Don Harmon shows wisdom in addressing what could otherwise be a contentious situation in Oak Park and possibly other communities. Lawyers don’t have to give up their practices to be president of the Village Trustees but it would be unwise for them to practice law on behalf of the village while they’re president. A way would be found for them to serve but at the same time avoid any real or apparent conflict of interest. I wish our congress would act so wisely as State Senator Harmon has done and is doing.

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