The Baltimore liquor board reversed yesterday a decision it made in August to void the liquor license of a Ridgely's Delight tavern owner.
The board's reversal amounts to a concession that it had misinterpreted state law when it voided James C. Quigley's license.
At a hearing in August, board members said they had no choice under the law but to void a license that had been pending transfer for 180 days or more. Quigley's license had been in such a state for about three years because of construction delays.
Since then, board members have been advised by the attorney general's office that they could use discretion when deciding whether a license that was pending transfer should be saved or voided. In most cases, delays due to construction and financing problems are enough to save a license.
Quigley appealed the liquor board's decision in city Circuit Court, and at an April 26 hearing Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan remanded the case to the board.
At the liquor board hearing yesterday at City Hall, Quigley said he was happy to get his old license back but scolded liquor board members for being so tough on him. The tavern owner said that he had to buy another license, at a cost of $75,000, as a result of the board's action.
Board members agreed to give Quigley three more months to open his tavern and three months to sell one of his two licenses. Board member Edward Smith Jr. declined to participate in yesterday's hearing because he was absent last year when other board members voided the tavern owner's license.
Board member Jeffrey B. Pope encouraged Quigley to wrap up work on his bar and open it soon.