Roger Baylor reports over at his blog that in the New Albanian Brewing vs. Floyd County Health Department saga, a hearing is set for the department to hear Baylor’s appeal of a temporary food permit citation forced on him and other vendors back in June.
Forcing beer vendors to obtain a temporary food permit, Baylor says, was unprecedented; in addition, alcohol is not governed by local departments of health in Indiana. (See: State of Indiana Food Handling Certification Rule.)
In the latest turn of events, the department of health set a hearing for Thursday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m., but did not alert Baylor by mail, as required. In his blog post, Baylor says he found out by way of his attorney.
This tactic flies in the face of the appeals process, according to the department’s own policies. Baylor posted these two passages from said appeals policy:
“Upon the Health Officer’s receipt of such request, the Hearing Board shall hear the matter in an open hearing after at least five-days’ written notice of the time, place and nature thereof.”
“The notice of the hearing date shall be served upon the operator requesting the review by delivering such notice to the address of the bed and breakfast establishment, retail food establishment or temporary food establishment listed on the permit application or by facsimile or to such other address (if within Floyd County), as the operator shall designate in the letter of request to the Health Officer. Such delivery may be made by leaving the notice at the required address or by regular U.S. Mail.”
You know, it’s pretty sickening to watch a government agency at any level pull this kind of crap. This has all the elements of a good old-fashioned pissing match, with one major problem: One party is clearly right, and the other is clearly wrong. So, what’s the health department’s motivation now? Is it the $20 they’ll get from Baylor for every food permit he is forced to obtain? Or is simply another strong-armed cover up?
Baylor also reports that his request for records of previous permit citations has not been fulfilled, which suggests the health department knows its sudden governance over beer-pouring is unprecedented and, in fact, flat-out unsupported by any sort of law. But god forbid they admit that in an open forum.
Assuming Baylor’s appeal will be unceremoniously denied, file this one under “You Can’t Fight City Hall.” It doesn’t matter if you’re right and they’re wrong.