The attorney representing the four Nebraska stores known for selling millions of cans of beer each year near the Pine Ridge South Dakota Indian reservation says the Nebraska Liquor Commission’s decision Wednesday not to renew their liquor licenses will be proven wrong.
Scottsbluff Attorney Andrew Snyder represents all four stores and says the commission’s decision was based on the wrong statute and “is wrong.” Snyder says the Commission based its ruling on a statute regarding initial applications rather than renewal applications. Snyder says based on previous Nebraska Supreme Court rulings that distinguish between the two applications he feels its “a very good issue for appeal.”
Snyder says the decision “is being pushed by the Governor”, noting his clients were informed by email by one of the Governor’s aides back in October that there were going to be “big changes” in Whiteclay. Snyder says the store owners have also been harassed by audits and inspections from various state agencies.
Snyder says he will ask the Lancaster County District Court for a ” stay” to postpone the ruling until a decision is made on the appeal so his stores can continue to sell beer in the interim. The stores’ licenses expire April 30th.
State regulators reviewed the stores’ licenses amid complaints that the town lacks adequate law enforcement to address frequent violence, drunken driving and other crimes allegedly fueled by residents of the reservation crossing the border and buying beer.
Advocates blame the stores for the reservation’s high rates of fetal alcoholism and poverty.