Bar discrimination suit starts March 19 |

Bar discrimination suit starts March 19

EAGLE ” A federal trial alleging racial discrimination over the town’s revocation of El Tejano Bar and Nightclub’s liquor license is scheduled to be heard in U.S. District Court in Denver on March 19.

But the plaintiffs in the case have requested a continuance, so the saga will likely continue. As of this week, the court had not yet granted the petition, but traditionally the court grants such requests.

If granted, it will be the second time the trial was delayed. An original trial date was bumped when the federal court opted to hear a murder case instead.

The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by sister and brother Mary and Steve Rodriguez, who claim the town discriminated against them when it did not renew their liquor license in 2002.

The Rodriguezes got a liquor license for their bar, El Tejano, in August, 2001, but when the license was up for renewal the following year, Eagle police officers testified about incidents of over-serving alcohol and alcohol being served to minors, court documents say.

Additionally, a female patron testified that she was over served, and subsequently performed a striptease for tips at the bar, court records say.

The Rodriguezes’ suit claimed the town action treating them different than non-Hispanic bar owners. The suit claims that when the Brush Creek Saloon’s license was brought for renewal and liquor law violations were noted, the board opted to impose a suspension rather than a revocation.

The town has refuted discrimination claims and has said it revoked El Tejano’s license because of the business’ disregard of state and local liquor laws.

In April of 2006, parts of the lawsuit were dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Walker D. Miller.

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