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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Overserving Case To Be Reviewed
By Jessica Dyer
Journal Northern Bureau
SANTA FE State officials intend to review the overserving case against WilLee's Blues Club after Carlos Fierro testified Monday that he didn't drink any alcohol at the now-defunct downtown bar the night he ran over and killed William Tenorio.
"We're reviewing the investigation file to see what, if any further investigation, needs to be done," Department of Public Safety spokesman Peter Olson said. "We won't be able to determine anything until we thoroughly review that file again to see if what he said on the stand changes anything."
Jurors continued to deliberate on Tuesday. They are expected to reconvene this morning.
Earlier this year, a state investigation into the source of the alcohol consumed by Fierro and a passenger before the accident found WilLee's had violated the state Liquor Control Act by serving intoxicated patrons. Fierro's blood-alcohol content registered 0.21 percent.
The investigation resulted in overserving citations for the WilLee's liquor license owner, Robin Adams, and WilLee's bartender Eric Mehlman.
But there were no citations against the Rio Chama Steakhouse, a political hangout where Fierro and former State Police Sgt. Alfred Lovato drank for hours before heading to WilLee's.
Fierro, testifying in his vehicular homicide trial Monday, said he had five or six drinks at Rio Chama where Lovato and Fierro ran up a 16-drink tab but that he didn't drink at WilLee's.
WilLee's closed late last year for what owners said were business reasons.
State Police said none of Rio Chama's employees were interviewed as part of the state's overserving investigation. Rio Chama is owned by prominent Santa Fe businessman Gerald Peters, a friend and political supporter of Gov. Bill Richardson.
Olson said in April that the investigation was thorough and that there was "no political motivation one way or another."