Fisher says ABLE taking lead on bar owner

Robert Smith

District Attorney Mike Fisher said Monday that he understood the state Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission had taken the lead in a matter concerning possible enforcement action against an Osage County bar owner.

Fisher said he had heard, but had not confirmed, that the ABLE Commission had possibly pulled the business owner’s license. Fisher told Osage County commissioners April 6 that concerns had arisen about whether the business owner was complying with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive order regarding the closure of non-essential businesses, and there might be an arrest.

Fisher did not give the commissioners a followup report Monday, but did respond separately to questions about the matter from the Journal-Capital.

“It’s supposed to be,” he said, regarding whether the bar in question was now closed. Fisher said law enforcement is keeping an eye on the bar’s status.

Sheriff Eddie Virden told the Journal-Capital on Monday that he had no reports of the bar in question being open, and had heard the ABLE Commission might suspend or pull the license for the bar.

The Journal-Capital put in a call to Brent Fairchild, assistant director of the ABLE Commission and its public information officer, on Monday afternoon but had not heard back from him by deadline for this edition.

Fisher has taken an active role during the COVID-19 pandemic in alerting Osage County residents about possible legal violations, including reports of efforts by scammers to take advantage of the public. He has used both his Facebook page and public meetings to disseminate informaton. Fisher told the county commissioners April 6 that the bar owner whose status he had become concerned about had reportedly been given multiple opportunities to come into compliance with the governor’s executive order language regarding the closure of non-essential businesses.