Discrimination lawsuit between the town of Eagle and El Tejano nightclub finishes in a tentative settlement

The lawsuit between the town of Eagle and the former owners of El Tejano nightclub has reached to a settlement late Friday. As the tentative settlement was reached the jury trial in U.S. District Court in Denver was canceled. However, the final documents have not yet been signed and details of the agreement have not been released.

The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed in November 2006 by El Tejano owners, brother and sister Mary and Steve Rodriguez. The lawsuit charges that their license revocation was racially motivated because of their Hispanic background and the predominately Hispanic clientele at the bar.The brother and sister originally obtained a liquor license for the establishment in August 2001.

When the license was up for renewal in August 2002, the Eagle Town Board revoked the license. During the renewal hearing, members of the Eagle Police Department testified about incidents of over-serving alcohol and of alcohol being served to minors at the bar. Additionally, a female patron testified that she was over-served and subsequently she performed a striptease for tips at the bar.

The Rodriguez lawsuit claimed the town’s action was unduly harsh and different from the disciplinary action imposed on what the plaintiffs characterize as an “Anglo bar” in town. The complaint notes that when the Brush Creek Saloon’s license was brought up for renewal and liquor law violations were noted, the board suspended the license rather than revoking it.

Source: Eagle Valley Enterprise


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