A Tale of Three Applicants

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Licenses and Permits Committee approves one application, defers others

KENOSHA ⸺ During last night’s Licenses and Permits Committee meeting, the few listening gleaned not only one, but three unexpected outcomes.
First, the committee voted to send a favorable recommendation of approval to the City Council for an application that was not set up to be approved at all.
In fact, on paper, the committee should have denied that application ⸺ submitted by Mustafa Mustafa, owner of Moe Moe’s in the Uptown area.
“Application of Mustafa Mustafa for a new Operator’s (Bartender’s) License, with a recommendation from the City Attorney to deny, based on material police record,” the item was worded on the committee’s agenda that night.
Instead, his application moved on, while two others that may have had an easier path forward on paper were delayed for two weeks.

APPLICATION

Moe Moe’s currently offers a variety of things ⸺ hot food, fresh produce, liquor and hair products ⸺ Mustafa told the committee Monday.
However, Mustafa sought a bartender’s (operator’s) license for a new venture, a pharmacy in the Uptown area he is in the process of getting approval for. If the pharmacy is approved and moves forward, Mustafa states it will “deliver prescriptions to your door.” (1:55 in video above)
Mustafa noted (4:20 in video) that the pharmacy is not open yet.
“We’re in the process of opening it,” he said.

PAST CRIMINAL RECORD

However, Dist. 2 Ald. Bill Siel asked Mustafa the major question that would determine whether his application moved forward or not.
“The real question,” Siel said, pertains to the fraud conviction, a felony conviction, Mustafa received in 2007. He had pleaded no contest to the charges.
Mustafa explained (7:13 in the video) the charges stem from a situation when he was 22 or 23 years old.
At that time, he had let someone leave bootleg copies of movies on the counter of his shop. He even got a kickback of $2 from each one he helped sell.
However, he did so under the belief that it was only the reproduction of films that was illegal, not the sale.
He was wrong.
As a result, he received a felony conviction, and was sued by a recording company.

DISCHARGED FROM PROBATION EARLY

The court ordered two years probation in that case; however, Mustafa states he was discharged from probation 13 months early “due to good behavior.”
“I left clean from that case,” Mustafa told the committee (8:50 in the video). “But the felony itself, you know, it’s still on my record. And it’s really kind of blocking me from growing.
“Because evidently it shows that it’s theft and it shows that it’s fraud. Who wants to deal with somebody who has a theft case or a fraud case like I do?”
Mustafa continued, with a frustrated and yet somehow defeated tone, saying, “I worked hard. I didn’t want this thing to stop me from growing.” (9:27 in the video).
“... I really love this city,” said Mustafa, who’s been a Kenoshan for more than 20 years. “I don’t want to go nowhere.”
As a result of being present and answering questions, the committee unanimously approved a recommendation to the City Council that it approve Mustafa’s bartender’s license application ⸺ subject to 75 demerit points.
The council will take up the issue at its next meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m.

OTHER APPLICANTS NOT SO LUCKY

The committee later moved to defer cabaret license applications from both Cheers and S’LUSH LLC.
While committee members noted other questions with the two applications, the decision to defer boiled down to one thing: new requirements under the recently-changed cabaret license ordinance.
Under those changes, businesses must contact the alderperson of the district their business resides in prior to their application being submitted to the committee.
As both applicants are in Siel’s district and neither contacted him, after a reminder of the changes by Ald. Curt Wilson (27:15 in video), Siel withdrew a prior motion to approve the Cheers application.
He instead moved to defer that application for two weeks until the next committee meeting. That motion passed unanimously.
He likewise moved to defer the S’LUSH application for the same reasons. That motion, too, passed unanimously.

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