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Council OKs Field House liquor license

BY KRISTEN EAST | JULY 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa City City Council approved a liquor-license renewal for the Field House after one of its three owners divested all ownership rights last week.

The city staff originally recommended that the request for a liquor-license renewal be denied, because Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine did not find one of the owners, Rafer Mateer, to be a “person of good moral character.”

City documents indicate that Mateer divested himself on July 18 from all ownership interest in Caffrey IC Inc. City staff then recommended that the council approve the request.

Former owner Mateer and owners David Carey and Joann Bear had applied for a one-year liquor license renewal, according to city documents. They applied in January for a 12-month license.

In his initial comments, Hargadine referenced an incident on May 18, 2012, in which a patron was allegedly removed from the Field House bar by staff, including Mateer, with the bar staff reportedly proceeding to assault the patron, leaving the patron with fractures and lacerations to the face, according to city documents.

Warrants were issued for Mateer and two codefendants — Philip Czechowicz, a Field House employee, and Nicholas Miller, a manager at DC’s — on June 27, 2012. Mateer was arrested that day, and his case is pending. Charges against Miller have been dropped.

City officials met with Mateer and Bear in January to resolve Mateer’s pending charges. The Field House owners then agreed to withdraw their application for a 12-month license and refile for a six-month license.

Under Iowa Code, it is illegal for a business’ employees to “knowingly permit or engage in any criminal activity on the premises covered by the license or permit.”


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