ELKINS – A Randolph County businessman is accusing officials in one town of improperly shutting down his bar.
The town of Mill Creek is named as co-defendant in a two-count civil rights suit filed by John Haney in U.S. District Court. In his complaint filed April 30, Haney, owner of Haney’s Eight Star Restaurant LLC, alleges town officials, without notice, voted to revoke his business license.
Mill Creek is north of Huttonsville on U.S 250/219/W.Va. 92/55 and boasts a population of 724, according to the 2010 Census.
According to the suit, the town council on an unspecified date approved Haney’s business license application. Also, on unspecified dates, Haney says he received the necessary permits to serve alcohol.
However, on May 14, the council voted to revoke his business license. As a result, the state Alcohol Beverage and Control Administration revoked his liquor license, which resulted in the restaurant’s ultimate closure.
In his suit, Haney avers he was never given any advance notice of the May 14 meeting or that “the business license was under review, or could be revoked.” Also, he goes a step further and alleges notice of the May 14 meeting was “intentionally withheld” as he would later learn a representative of the ABCA was in attendance.
Prior to the revocation, Haney says he appeared before the council to answer concerns they had about the bar. According to the suit, he “appeared and successfully defended the allegations against him.”
In his suit, Haney alleges the council acted without due process in revoking his license. Allen Armstrong, Gary Coffman, Diane Currence, Eddie Currence and John Doe are named as co-defendants.
Haney seeks unspecified damages, court costs and attorney’s fees. He is represented by Elkins attorneys John J. Wallace IV and Joseph A. Wallace.
The case is assigned to Judge John Preston Bailey.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, case number 13-cv-30