SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Police continue to investigate a Wednesday night murder outside a Springfield bar. 22News discovered a City Councilor is questioning why that bar was even open in the first place.
The location has a long history with police, but with new owners, Duck's Place on the 1100 block of State Street got a fresh start this year.
The City Council approved a special permit for Duck's Place and they were approved for a liquor license, but City Councilor John Lysak told 22News the owners never finished their paperwork and never paid for that permit.
Lysak says they should have not received a liquor license and should not have been allowed to open. "We had a tragedy that happened here the other day that could have been completely avoided if this bar was not open because they did not have the proper paperwork. If everything would have been followed through properly this bar would not have been open and this tragedy would not have happened the other day."
The victim was a 24-year-man from Holyoke . He was shot on the bar's back patio behind a fence.
The bar owners have agreed to temporarily suspend their liquor license until at least August 1st.
The City Solicitors Edward Pikula response to the City Councilors questions is below:
Councilor, in response to your questions:
1) Why was their Liquor License granted if they had not yet received their Special Permit from the City Council?
Response: The License Commission was notified that the City Council had decided to grant a special permit. The License Commission typically relies on such notices. A copy of the Notice sent to the License Commission by the City Council is attached, as are the minutes from the meeting showing the vote of the City Council. The actual payment of the cost of advertisement is a ministerial act not involving any discretion, and the applicant would be entitled to come in at any time and pay the amount to obtain the special permit. I recommend that the City Council consider revocation of the special permit. The License Commission acted last night to suspend the license.
2) Was the License commission or Mayor's office aware that this establishment was in operation without the proper permitting?
3) If they were aware, why was this establishment allowed to operate illegally?
Response: The Mayor's office was not aware.
4) If they were not aware, why were they not aware?
Response: The City Council sent out notice that a special permit was granted.