INDIANAPOLIS - Police and members of the City-County Council say some downtown bars are exploiting loopholes in the alcohol statutes that allow convicted felons to reap profits from liquor sales.
Baron Mays is a self-described promoter who organizes special events at downtown bars. Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Mays is a twice-convicted felon still on probation and house arrest.
Police said his criminal past disqualifies him from any employment in any establishment that serves alcohol.
"Mr. Mays wouldn't qualify for a liquor license. But he's getting all the benefits of having a liquor license. He's able to host events. Obviously, he's collecting some revenue for the sales of people entering these events and from sales of alcohol," IMPD Sgt. Bill Carter said.
In addition to the Club 36 East Pub & Grill, police said that Mays has promoted events at other downtown liquor establishments.
Shawn Williams, the manager at 36 East, said Mays is not associated with the night club.
City-County Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer said that Indianapolis and every other city lacks the requisite authority to take action against liquor establishments that violate or exploit loopholes in the law.
"They should be able to shut that door and shut that business down until they get into compliance. And we can't do that," Pfisterer said.
Metro police said promoters have used social media to organize questionable events that draw large unruly crowds that turn violent. Over the past two weeks, seven police officers have been injured breaking up such events.
Police and members of the City-County Council will meet with Gov. Pence next week to make the case that local municipalities should have tighter controls on local alcohol laws.
Under the terms of Mays’ house arrest, he is allowed to leave his residence between 4 p.m. and 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
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