The Full Board of the New York State Liquor Authority generally holds two public meetings a month to render decisions on licensing and disciplinary matters. The meetings are held at Harlem Center Tower Office Building at 317 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027. A typical agenda has over 100 matters for ruling. The Board may also vote on SLA policies, procedures, and personnel. The Full Board calendar is compiled by the Secretary to the Authority prior to the Board meeting. Items on the calendar are called in the order in which they are signed in for on the day of the Board Meeting. The agenda is available online for public review prior to the meeting. If you wish to mail something to be considered at a meeting, it must be submitted by noon on the Friday before the meeting to New York State Liquor Authority Secretary’s Office at 80 South Swan Street, Suite 900, Albany, NY 12210 with a duplicate simultaneously submitted to Deputy Commissioner Kerri O’Brien at the same address. You can watch the meetings by video conference at any of the 3 zone offices (Albany, Buffalo or New York City) or on your own computer.
Licensing: When a licensing item is called by the Secretary to the Authority, the licensee and/or their representative(s) often provides a brief statement followed by questions from the Members of the Authority. Persons appearing in opposition to a license may be afforded an opportunity to speak. No oral arguments are permitted in cases involving an application falling under the 500 foot rule because a hearing must have previously been held. The Members may vote to approve, deny, or carry over a license application. A license application is carried over when questions arise during the Board Meeting requiring further information or when a licensee or their representative requests the license be carried over. Each license application submitted to the SLA is reviewed on a case by case basis. A decision to approve or disapprove a license is made on the merits of the individual application, taking into account the recommendations of local law enforcement, government officials, community boards, and members of the public.
Disciplinary: Members of the Authority vote to sustain or dismiss disciplinary matters and on penalties for licensees found to be in violation of the law. Each case brought to the Members of the Authority is examined on its individual merits. Licensees and/or their representatives are afforded an opportunity to speak regarding penalties. Members of the public may also be permitted to speak; however, no arguments are permitted on the merits of a disciplinary case after a full hearing has been held. The Members of the Authority make the final determination as to whether the violations are sustained.
A disciplinary proceeding originates with the issuance of a Notice of Pleading listing the alleged violations against a licensee. The licensee may enter one of the following pleas in response to the Notice of Pleading: (1) Not Guilty; (2) No Contest; or (3) Conditional No Contest. If a licensee pleads not guilty, a hearing date is scheduled with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Findings are made by the ALJ and presented to the Members of the Authority. The ALJ’s findings are not final, only the Members of the Authority may make a final determination. If the licensee pleads no contest, the case is sent directly to the Members of the Authority for final determination of the appropriate penalty. If the licensee submits a conditional no contest plea, the licensee’s offer is forwarded to the Members of the Authority for final determination. If the offer is rejected by the Members, the matter is returned to Counsel’s Office to schedule a hearing.
The Members of the Authority may impose one or more of the following penalties:
- License suspension, cancellation or revocation,
- Monetary penalty,
- A bond forfeiture,
- A two-year ban against the issuance of a license to any part of the building containing the revoked licensed premises (known as “proscription”).
At any time during a Full Board meeting, a Member of the Authority may call a conference to discuss a matter of law. Conferences are not open to the public.
Following the meeting, the statistics from the meeting and disciplinary penalties are made public on the official website.