Douglas City Leaders Pen Support Letter To Help DeMond's Keep Liquor License
Douglas city officials announced Monday night they wanted to be unequivocal that their strong support behind DeMond’s SuperValu’s fight to retain its liquor license was not meant to condone in any way the grocery stores owner’s actions that landed him in prison.
Rather, their support hinges on the fact that DeMond’s is the only local grocery store that locals and visitors alike can count on, making it an invaluable asset to the community, and without alcohol sales it is inconceivable to think that DeMond’s would be economically viable.
Douglas Mayor Linda Anderson penned a letter, dated Jan. 22, urging the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to reconsider the revocation process.
“We need to make an important distinction that this (letter of support on behalf of DeMond’s SuperValu) is not in support of DeMond (owner Nick DeMond, who is currently serving a 23-month to a 10-year prison sentence for a felony sexual conviction involving a minor),” said Anderson.
“It is supporting the need for a grocery store in town and that is the only one. We have a lot of older population, certainly in this area,” said Anderson, reiterating points she made in her letter.
“The other nearest grocery store is either 10 miles to the north (Holland) or 18 miles to the south (South Haven). There are a lot of people that rely on the Interurban (local public bus system) just to go to DeMond’s. In order for DeMond’s to survive, they need to sell alcohol.”
Her comments were in response to Douglas Downtown District Authority Member Jerry Donovan’s expressed concern that city officials’ support for DeMond’s made “the city look bad.”
Douglas officials’ arguments on behalf of the liquor license are actually the same argument DeMond’s attorneys are arguing in their current appeal process before the Allegan County Circuit Court, attempting to overturn the Nov. 28 decision by the state Liquor Control Commission revoking the license and seizing all alcohol products.
At this juncture, Visiting Judge Wesley Nykamp has temporarily (on Jan. 24) stayed the state order, allowing attorneys for DeMond’s and the Michigan State Attorney General’s Office time to submit legal briefs in support of their respective positions.
The state says Nick DeMond is the sole stockholder for the LLC that owns the store, while attorneys for DeMond contend that Nick’s brother, Brett DeMond, will take over the family business.
Nick pleaded no contest to sexually molesting his granddaughter in Allegan County Circuit Court on Jan. 30, 2017. His conviction led to the current liquor license problem.