The head of the Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission has admitted agents committed multiple “clear
violations” of agency policy while conducting an inspection on a
gay bar in Fort Worth.
“I don't think you have to dig very
deep to figure out that TABC has violated some of their policies,”
TABC Administrator Alan Steen told gay weekly the Dallas
Voice. “It's real clear that however it is that we were
doing business that night is not the typical TABC. … I have good
policy in place, I have good training in place, and I have good
supervision in place to ensure that things like this don't happen.”
Fort Worth Police Department officers
and TABC agents stormed the recently reopened Rainbow Lounge in the
early hours of June 28, arresting six people for public intoxication
and sending one man to the hospital with a severe head injury. A
police department report alleges that patrons blew kisses, groped
agents and simulated sex acts with police officers as they carried
out their inspection.
The inspection is under internal
investigation by both agencies, and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief
has called for a federal review of the police department's
investigation. Police officers have been desked. And Police Chief
Jeff Halstead has announced the indefinite suspension of all joint
operations between the two agencies.
The two TABC agents involved in the
raid have been desked and the their direct supervisor has retired
amid the internal investigation, Steen told the paper.
Citing insufficient evidence, Steen
said the inspection should have never happened.
“You can read that policy and you can
figure out really quickly, TABC shouldn't have even been there,”
Steen said. “If our guys would have followed the the damn policy,
we wouldn't even have been there. … We have these conversations all
the time, and we don't participate in those kinds of inspections when
there's not probable cause or reasonable suspicion or some public
safety matter to be inspected.”
“I just think the people of Fort
Worth deserve to know that we're very interested in this and very
diligently working to get to the bottom of it,” he added.