The Knoxville City Council imposed a $1000 fine against the Dingus Lounge as a result of code violations during their regular meeting last night. On two consecutive days in December, police officers did bar checks and found patrons in the Dingus at about 2:10am, breaking a city code that prohibits non-employees from being in such a licensed-liquor establishment after 2:00am. Owner A.J. Mottet and other Dingus employees testified that those patrons were waiting for employees to give them rides home. Mottet admitted he had broken city law, but asked that the Council impose a fine rather than suspend their license so his employees were not negatively affected.
Dingus faced a suspension of up to 10 days or a fine of up to $1000. A motion was first made to fine Dingus $300. That motion was rejected by a 3-2 vote with Councilors David Roozeboom and Tim Pitt voting for it and Councilors Carolyn Formanek, Elsie Kemp, and April Verwers voting against it. Another motion was made to suspend Dingus’s license for ten days. Verwers voted for that, while Formanek, Kemp, Roozeboom, and Pitt voted against it. The final motion was a fine of $1000; All but Pitt voted to institute that fine.