Michigan City bar closed after raid

2014-03-31T17:02:00Z 2014-03-31T22:25:17Z Michigan City bar closed after raidStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 31, 2014 5:02 pm  • 

MICHIGAN CITY | A downtown Michigan City bar was closed indefinitely Monday following a raid where poor moral character was among the dozen or so violations handed out.

The early Sunday sweep at Reilly's at 11th and Franklin streets followed 134 police responses to the bar over just the past year.

Three men being shot there less than three weeks ago is among the more recent incidents.

Indiana State Excise Police Cpl. Travis Thickstun said a drinking establishment anywhere in the state generating 134 calls to law enforcement in 12 months is "something we don't see almost ever."

Citations included selling alcohol to a minor, being a public nuisance, various unspecified gaming violations and failing to maintain a "high and fine" reputation, police said.

The owner, Mark Killerman, declined comment.

Thickstun said Killerman could face anywhere from thousands of dollars in fines to having his liquor license suspended or revoked.

Under Indiana law, bar owners can violate the state's standard for moral conduct and good reputation if the activity at the business falls below a certain standard or if the proprietor or manager gets arrested outside their place of business for a major crime like drug dealing.

"If a bar owner or any permit holder engages in unlawful acts that would speak to whether that person is qualified to hold an alcoholic beverage permit," said Thickstun.

In this case, Thickstun said the allegations involving poor reputation had more to do with the volume of complaints to police.

Calls also included reports of fighting.

"We're treating them all as administrative citations," said Thickstun.

Thickstun said the Indiana Alcohol Tobacco Commission has a prosecutor, who in general, tries to negotiate a settlement with the alleged violator before the allegations go to an administrative law judge to decide.

Reilly's was previously Sullivans, which in 2002 was one of the catalysts of generating more activity in the revitalizing downtown.

However, Mayor Ron Meer said the bar had become a real sore spot with a variety of citizens, including members of the clergy.

"If this was happening anywhere in Michigan City we'd be addressing it so it isn't necessarily because of that particular area," said Meer.

The Reilly's sign was off the facade Monday and workers at the bar who did not want to be identified said the business plans to reopen once an ongoing remodeling is completed.

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