The liquor license at the hotel next to Aberdeen's Ripken Stadium was suspended by the Harford County Liquor Control Board Wednesday, just days before the start of the high-profile Cal Ripken World Series youth baseball tournament next door.
The liquor board temporarily suspended the license for Courtyard by Marriott after members said the hotel failed to notify them that the resident liquor licensee had left her job.
During the board's meeting in Bel Air, Commissioner Thomas Fidler said he was frustrated by vague explanations about the license situation from two Courtyard employees. He also was unhappy that the prior licensee was a human resources clerk who worked daytime hours.
"What was a human resources clerk doing as a liquor licensee for an operation like Marriott?" Fidler wondered, adding that he "cannot believe" Marriott does not have a program in place to oversee liquor licensee situations.
"You guys are an industry leader," he said. "I don't like how this looks. I don't like the answers."
Fidler said the hotel management sent a July 15 letter notifying the employee her human resources job would be eliminated Aug. 1.
The hotel representatives said they thought the licensee would stay on with the company as a food-and-beverage employee but she instead left completely.
The license is suspended until the hotel can provide a new applicant to serve as resident liquor licensee. The hotel has 90 days to have a new licensee in place.
Tim Lewis, chief operations officer of Ripken Baseball, and Glenn Valis, vice-president of operations, were also before the liquor board Wednesday to get the one-day beer and wine license approved for the World Series itself.
The hotel is not affiliated with Ripken Baseball, which operates the city-owned minor league stadium and owns the youth baseball complex behind the hotel where the series is played
The Ripken World Series runs from Saturday through Aug. 16.