Lawyer Steven Townsend
Four cleared of illegal beer sales
By: Bill Vidonic
Beaver County Times
Friday March 5, 2010 05:29 PM
BEAVER — A Beaver County attorney and three employees at an Industry golf course were cleared Friday of charges that they sold beer without a license.
Al Torrence, the Beaver Area School District solicitor, had been charged with five counts of selling beer at Rivers Edge Golf Course, 1326 Ohioview Drive.
Others charged with the same offenses were: Kathy Jo Dyke, 41, of Negley, Ohio; Beverly Jean Kordecky, 58, of East Palestine, and Henry Camp, 52, of 1275 Corporation St., Beaver.
After a preliminary hearing Friday morning, Beaver County District Judge Joseph Schafer dismissed all charges against the four.
State police reported that on April 29 Dyke served two beers to an undercover state trooper and charged him $2 for each; the golf course does not have a liquor license.
A state police trooper testified Friday that he went back to the golf course a couple more times through September, and again paid for beer there.
Though police described Torrence as the owner of the golf course, defense attorney Steve Colafella said Friday that was misleading, as it’s owned by a for-profit corporation, though Torrence is listed as incorporating the corporation that owns the golf course.
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Colafella said there was no evidence presented Friday that Torrence sold beer or permitted the sales to take place. Torrence had denied selling the beer.
Other defense attorneys said that no one was ever forced to pay for beer there.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Todd Goodwin said a sign saying, “Beer, $2 donation” hanging on a refrigerator at the golf course was “a ruse” and said that the undercover trooper was charged for the beer, which breaks the law.
After the charge dismissals Friday, Torrence asking for donations for the beer has been going on for decades at the golf course. He said some people donate money and some don’t.
Torrence said the golf course would do some employee training and take other steps to ensure that patrons know that they did not have to pay for the beer.
“I think the (hearing) came out the way it should have,” Torrence said.
Attorney Steve Townsend, who represented Kordecky, said the prosecution of the four was “a waste of resources.”