Took Long Enough, But TABC Finally Releases Statement Concerning FW Gay Bar Raid

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At last, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has issued an official statement concerning Saturday night's raid on the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth, which left Chad Gibson hospitalized and a community outraged. Carolyn Beck, the spokesperson for the agency, just sent Unfair Park the document, in which TABC Administrator Alan Steen says he has initiated an internal affairs investigation "to answer questions about how these locations were chosen, to review the agents' actions, and specifically to establish the facts surrounding Mr. Gibson's injury." The entire release follows after the jump.
For Immediate Release

July 1, 2009

TABC and FWPD Joint Inspections Result in Multiple Arrests

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 29, 2009, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) agents and officers from the Fort Worth Police Department, conducted joint inspections of three TABC-licensed locations in Fort Worth to ensure compliance with state alcoholic
beverage laws and local ordinances: The Rosedale Saloon located at 150 W. Rosedale, Cowboy Palace located at 160 W. Rosedale, and the Rainbow Lounge located at 651 S. Jennings.

The Fort Worth Police Department arrested 15 individuals for public intoxication, including nine males at the Rosedale Saloon and the adjacent Cowboy Palace, one male at an unlicensed location, and four males and one female at the Rainbow Lounge.

At the Rainbow Lounge, TABC agents placed one individual under arrest, Chad Gibson who was injured while in the agents' custody. Mr. Gibson was released to paramedics for treatment of alcohol poisoning and a head injury and transported to a local hospital.

"We are saddened that this incident occurred and extend our sincere hope that Mr. Gibson recovers quickly," said TABC Administrator Alan Steen. "I have initiated an internal affairs investigation to answer questions about how these locations were chosen, to review the agents' actions, and specifically to establish the facts surrounding Mr. Gibson's injury."

 Anyone who witnessed employee misconduct is asked to contact Lt. Andy Pena, Acting Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility, at opr@tabc.state.tx.us or call 512-206-3405. Information about how to file a complaint against a TABC employee, and about agency policy on employee investigations, can be found on TABC's website at www.tabc.state.tx.us.

"I take seriously all allegations concerning inappropriate or illegal behavior by our employees.  We have in the past, and we will in the future, take action against any employee found to have violated agency policy or the law," continued Steen.

TABC conducts approximately 128,000 inspections of approximately 40,000 licensed locations statewide each year, looking for violations of the law. One of the agency's key performance measures is to inspect at least 78.5% of licensed locations each year. During a 12-month period, typically about 96% of licensed locations in Texas are inspected at least once. Licensed locations that have complaints filed against them or previous public safety violations may be visited more frequently.
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