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The ABC's Farenheit Debacle

So, the downtown Club Farenheit has won its battle in Circuit Court against the ABC Board and their unfair practices [Street Talk, July 12]. If I recall correctly, this debacle has been going on since February 2001, when ABC investigators began their doomed and pathetic effort to rid this city of illegal drugs.

As I think of the people whose lives have been wrecked by this ridiculous and ill-managed plot — the business owners, their employees, their customers and this city's reputation — I wonder. How did any of this embarrassing waste of time benefit Richmond? How much did this fiasco cost the taxpayers? Was this worth shutting businesses down, lost revenue, and causing peoples' lives and reputations to be ruined on the scantiest and seemingly manufactured rumor of alleged wrongdoing?

Good for Farenheit! Even though they lost their business, they were able to fight to maintain their reputation. It is a pity that other businesses had no recourse but to choose not to fight simply because the cost of litigation is no doubt staggering.

I encourage Gov. Warner's new ABC appointees to closely examine their goals and practices, and what is truly in the best interest of the people of Virginia. In so many cases it appears that the decisions of the ABC Board in the past have been arbitrary and prejudiced.

Mary Mallory



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