DeMonds Supervalu Owner Appealing MI Liquor Control Commission Decision To Revoke Store's Liquor License; Hearing Set For Jan. 24th
DeMond’s Supervalu, the long staple grocery store of the Saugatuck area, is appealing a Michigan Liquor Control Commission order that revokes its liquor license and seizes all of its alcoholic products.
The Nov. 28 decision by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission stems from co-owner Nick DeMond, 46, being found guilty of criminal sexual assault with intent to commit penetration, and thereby, in violation of Michigan law.
DeMond pleaded no contest to sexually molesting his granddaughter in Allegan County Circuit Court on Jan. 30, 2017. He is currently serving a 2-to-10-year sentence in prison after his sentencing by Allegan County Circuit Judge Margaret Zuzich Bakker.
In his arguments leading to his decision, Michigan Liquor Control Commissioner Edward D. Clemente considered a number of factors, including: “the Michigan Public Sex Offenders Registry and the Licensee’s (DeMond) offender details,” “that this conviction involved a familial minor,” “alcohol use was involved in Nicholas DeMond’s defense,” and “Mr. Hall (Michigan Assistant Attorney General Felepe Hall, who represented law enforcement in this matter) stated that these circumstances warrant maximum fines for the two acknowledge charges (violence and criminal sexual conduct) and revocation of the licenses.
While incarcerated this Licensee cannot reasonably continue to hold these licenses, and that he should not be allowed to profit given the circumstance of this case,” according to the legal documents of the Nov. 28 case obtained by The Local Observer.
Defending DeMond’s interest in the case is Okemos-based attorney Mark J. Burzych. He stated that “Nicholas DeMond transferred his stock interest within a reasonable time frame to his brother, Brett DeMond, due to this being a family business.”
And another statement highlighted in the Nov. 28 legal document, Burzych argued “that Licensee was asleep and had no recollection of the events, however never denied that the alleged events occurred, nor did he challenge the veracity of the victim.
Also, the underlying criminal charges, allegedly occurred several years before they were brought.”
The store is fighting back and is currently engaged in an appeal process though it has already lost one appeal.
Through Burzych, the business appealed Clemente’s decision before the LLC, but the commission declined to grant an appeal on Jan. 4, finding “material and substantial evidence” on the record, among other factors, to uphold the Clemente order.
Burzych and Attorney John S. Brennan then appealed that decision before the Allegan County 48th Judicial Court, according to documents filed on Jan. 16.
The appeal case has been scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m in Allegan County Circuit Courtroom B before Visiting Judge Wesley J. Nykamp.
Many visitors and locals alike patronize the DeMond grocery store, and the loss of the license will unquestionably mean a big financial hit for the business.
The store’s current year’s alcohol sales are over $404,000.
The store did not respond to The Local Observer request for comment on the matter.
In exchange for DeMond entering a no contest plea to the felony, which requires lifetime registration as a sex offender and monitoring, prosecutors agreed to drop two more charges: two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a person under 13 years old.
Despite prosecutors recommending against it, Bakker ordered DeMond to serve his term in a state prison, a correctional facility decided by the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Demond, of Hamilton, took over his late father Gary’s post as president of DeMond’s SuperValu when Gary retired in 2009. The grocery store is a mainstay in the Saugatuck area, celebrating its 25 years in the community and has been known to support a number of local charities.