UPDATE: Walmart Faces Suspension of Liquor License After Clerk Allegedly Sells Alcohol to Minor

The Oak Park Heights Police Chief will ask the City Council tonight to impose a $1,000 fine and a five-day suspension of Walmart’s liquor license after an employee allegedly sold alcohol to underage person for the second time in two years.

The Oak Park Heights City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved Police Chief Brian DeRosier's request to impose a $1,000 fine and a five-day suspension of Wal-Mart’s liquor license after an employee allegedly sold alcohol to underage person.

Walmart has the right to a hearing to show cause, according to the city’s alcohol ordinance. If Walmart chooses to go that route, the hearing would take place during the Feb. 12 City Council meeting.

On Nov. 23, the Oak Park Heights Police Department investigated and revealed a sale of alcohol to a minor, DeRosier wrote in a memo to the City Council.

“This sale was not part of any police compliance checks,” DeRosier wrote. “The investigation was in response to complaint received by officers on duty of possible under 21 persons trying to purchase alcohol at another location and having been refused.”

Police later located the suspects at Walmart after they had just purchased alcohol, DeRosier wrote.

Marjorie Elizabeth Cogger, 63, of Stillwater was charged with a gross misdemeanor, DeRosier told the Pioneer Press, after she allegedly sold a 24-pack of Bud Light, a 12-pack of Rolling Rock and a bottle of Jagermeister to an 18-year-old West Lakeland Township man who had a fake ID at the time of the sale.

The teen was cited for possession of a fake ID and possession of alcohol by a minor, both misdemeanors, DeRosier told the Pioneer Press.

“No attempt was made by the sales clerk to verify the age of the person with any form of identification,” the memo reads.

The police chief is asking the council to also impose a $1,000 sanction and five-day suspension of all alcohol sales at Wal-Mart starting on Jan. 28 and ending at the start of normal business on Feb. 2.

The Superbowl is slated for Sunday, Feb. 3

This is Walmart’s second alcohol violation in two years, the chief wrote. The prior violation occurred on Dec. 21, 2010.

Walmart has the right to a hearing to show cause, according to the city’s alcohol ordinance. The hearing would take place at 7 p.m. during the Feb. 12 City Council meeting.

Susan January 10, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Chris, if it is store policy to check everyone who looks under 40 (I think that's it, but not sure), then the employees should do it, every time! This example is exactly why they should do it. Unless you are hitting the liquor store every day, and/or are an angry person, the ten seconds it takes to pull out your ID should not be an annoyance, and the vast majority of people understand that this is required to buy alcohol. In regards to not knowing an ID is fake; that is somewhat the store's responsibility as the training is either inadequate or they should invest in those sliders/scanners that you slide the ID through. Walmart certainly can afford the technology!
Mark Luebker January 10, 2013 at 04:13 PM
I think it's pretty clear the clerk screwed up. Where I live, I get carded at the grocery store every time I pick up a six-pack of Grain Belt Nordeast or Guinness Black Lager, even though my beard is pretty much all white these days. And that includes by a clerk whose day job is in my office! That said, the punishment should fit the crime, and presumably how Walmart dealt with the employee who made the last mistake would be the model for how they deal with this one. As far as prosecuting or fining the clerk, for someone making a living at Walmart (and who likely will lose her job as a consequence of this), that strikes me a little draconian. And for that matter, so does the suspended license for Walmart for two violations in two years. Seems like fairness would dictate them paying the fine as a way to remind them they need to do a better job of training and monitoring their employees and how they carry out their duties.
Susan January 10, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Mark, I agree with you in regards to Walmart not paying their employees a living wage (I recently wrote about this on another Patch thread), but here is the problem; Walmart would (probably) not be in this position if the employee had followed procedure. She violated the policy specifically designed to stop this sort of thing. She (along with the bratty minor) are to blame here and the punishment should be applied accordingly.
woodtick February 24, 2013 at 05:38 PM
WOW!! After reading all of these highly intelligent responses, I can only conclude that some of you who support the cashier and wal-mart for their lack of responsibility, must have broken the law many times during your youth and never got caught! I wonder what you would write if the 18 yr old would have had an accident and killed another person?? I bet you people ride the fence your whole life instead of staying true to legal and illeagal, right and wrong? P.S. For you crusaders, this has nothing to do with the 2nd amendment folks, so don't try to take my guns away..Thank you.
Randy Marsh February 24, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Woodtick, the charges would change dramatically if the person(s) purchasing the alcohol would have caused a crash or killed another person. As it stands, the penalty for this violation is completely out of line. I don't support the cashier and don't' shop at Walmart, but I'm a big fan of common sense.


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