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Waxy O'Connor's in Foxborough a No-Show at Liquor Violations Hearing

Heated debate leads to selectmen voting to approve continuing Waxy's liquor license hearing to May 17.

Waxy O'Connor's has a new public hearing date of May 17 at 7:05 p.m to address more alleged liquor license and overcrowding violations brought against them.

Foxborough Board of Selectmen were taken aback last evening, April 12, when failed to show up for their scheduled liquor violations hearing.

Foxborough Town Manager, Kevin Paicos, presented selectmen with a notice received yesterday, April 11, from Waxy O'Connor's attorney, Patricia Farnsworth, requesting a continuation of the public hearing due to a scheduling conflict. 

Paicos said he spoke directly with Fransworth and told her that there was no guarantee that the board would grant a continuance request.

Pacios, however, advised the board to continue the hearing at a later date for the reason being that if they had the hearing absent the accused party and their counsel then the opposed sanctions on Waxy's by the board may not be ruled a "flawless" decision by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC).

"The board has the right to continue with the hearing without the presence of Waxy's management and legal counsel, however if Waxy's chooses to appeal any opposed sanctions by the board to the ABCC, then the board's record could be considered flawed," said Paicos. 

Paicos went onto say that "the ABCC could rule on the basis that the defendants (Waxy's) were not present at the time the decisions were made while taking into account that this is Waxy's first request for a continuance of a hearing."

"In government and court, continuances are given out all the time," said Paicos. "If this was their 2nd or 3rd request then I would have recommended to move forward without Waxy's present. However given the severity of this situation, that this is now a second set of hearings, I would not want to jeopardize the outcome on the basis of a procedural error." 

Paicos, who agreed with the board on the issue of public safety, preferred that the sanctions opposed on Waxy's and brought to the ABCC stand solely on the grounds of what the board found in the hearing.

Town selectmen along with Paicos and residents in attendance were outraged at Waxy's "rudeness" in giving such a short notice regarding their absence.

"This group completely stonewalled the board," said Paul DeRensis, Foxborough's town counsel.

Foxborough Police Chief ,Edward O'Leary, told the board that Waxy's has recently agreed to increased vigilance by adding police details on Friday and Saturday nights.

Paicos further elaborated on the new safety measures that town officials are putting into effect at Waxy's.

"We have added three new lines of defense," said Paicos. The first line would be police detail. If the police believe there is an overcrowding situation then the building inspector will be called down...and if he cannot get the establishment to cooperate then the Police Chief, the Fire Chief and myself will be called to see if evacuation will be necessary."

Paicos stressed that "while he cannot guarantee that there won't be more violations despite their best efforts, that they have put into effect some powerful tools to help in the meantime."

The board asked O'Leary if he believed that Waxy's is currently operating as a safe establishment with the addition of extra police detail on Friday and Saturday night. O'Leary paused and responded,” Safe - er."

Paicos told the board that he has attempted to overly stress how serious this situation is to Waxy's and that they are in jeopardy of losing their liquor license.

Selectmen James DeVellis was against continuing the hearing.

"People are very concerned about this issue. The fact that it is the day of and we receive this letter...we have police who showed up tonight to testify...I just don't think they are taking it seriously," said DeVellis. 

"My number one concern is public safety," responded board chairman Lynda Walsh. Unfortunately we have our police officers who will have to babysit one establishment for the next couple weeks."

Foxborough resident Deborah Stewart spoke to the board on Waxy's blunt disrespect to the community.

"I feel like we are a parent and we keep saying, 'now if you do it again, now if you do it again," said Stewart. "Waxy's has to be held accountable and I applaud the officers standing here tonight waiting the outcome...I would pay double time for you tonight."

Before the board made a motion to vote on the matter, Paicos reminded them that "the degree of toughness of the board is not measured with respect to the speed in which they conduct hearings, but is measured by the degree of the sanctions they impose."

"We need to do it right so that it gets sustained when it goes to the ABCC," Paicos said.

The board voted 3-1 to continue the hearing on May 17 with DeVellis being the lone vote against the move.

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