LORAIN — The Sunoco gas station at 2436 Broadway is keeping its liquor permit.
The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control has rejected Lorain officials objections to renewing the permit.
“The division finds that the Lorain City Council was unable to present sufficient evidence to show that the applicant is unfit to engage in the retail sale of alcoholic beverages or that this business has adversely impacted the peace, sobriety and good order of the community,” Bruce Stevenson, division superintendent, wrote in a July 9 letter to Council.
There were 49 police calls to the gas station — formerly known as Liberty Gas — in 2013. The most serious was the Jan. 1, 2013, death of Herman Seagers, a bystander caught in the crossfire of a shooting. Shooter Desmen Noble is serving 18 years to life for the killing.
Police at an April 22 division hearing argued that the station, which sells beer and wine, attracts drunks when bars close and noted it had been twice fined for selling alcohol to minors. However, several off-duty Lorain police officers hired by station manager Ameed Abuzahrieh wrote to the division that their presence “eliminated bad behavior” by rowdy customers. Abuzahrieh said Thursday he was glad the division had given his station a second chance.
Lorain has until Aug. 8 to appeal. Mayor Chase Ritenauer said Thursday he would consult with police before deciding whether to appeal.