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Schuylkill County News

Weaver Found Not Guilty on 2 of 3 Citations Over St. Patty’s Day Free Beer Event

Weaver plans to appeal guilty verdict.

Bobby Weaver Jr. was found not guilty on 2 of the 3 citations he faced from the City of Pottsville over a free beer event hosted on the property of his condemned business the day before St. Patrick’s Day.

District Magistrate Jimmy Reiley did find Weaver guilty on one citation – for prohibited occupancy of an unsafe structure and equipment – and fined him $473.67, including court costs.

In finding Weaver guilty, Reiley read off the verbiage of the International Property Maintenance Code which states specifically, per his reading, that any person responsible for the property is bound by that specific code.

Weaver’s attorney, Steve Carpenito, attempted to argue during the course of the nearly 2½-hour hearing in Pottsville on Wednesday morning that City Code Enforcement should not have cited Weaver personally because he’s not listed as the owner of the property. Instead, citations should have been directed at the business, Black Rock Brewing Co.

Despite losing on that citation, Weaver was successful in defeating the two other ordinances he was accused of violating on March 16 with the free beer event.

Those say Weaver violated an ordinance of food-handling and drinking establishments and operating unsafe equipment.

Carpenito did successfully argue that the City failed to even question whether any beer was served that day at the Free Beer event.

Also, the City did not prove that any unsafe equipment was used during the event, mostly because no one from the City – save for the two minutes that Fire Chief Jim Misstishin arrived at the event to notify Weaver of the impending citations – actually witnessed the event.

Following Wednesday’s hearing, Weaver said he felt the day was a victory for his cause and he plans to appeal Reiley’s guilty verdict on the one citation but commended the judge for his work on the case.

“I feel great, honestly,” Weaver said. “I view this as a huge win. We got two of the three done.”

He was also critical of the case the City brought against him.

“They didn’t bring a very good case at all,” Weaver said.

During the hearing, Pottsville Code Enforcement Officer Justin Trefsger essentially acted as attorney on the City’s behalf. He called two witnesses: Health Officer Andrew VanArsdale and Misstishin. Trefsger also took the stand.

Weaver did not testify during Wednesday’s hearing.

The proceedings featured plenty of raised voices, mostly arguing over why City officials have not been to Black Rock to conduct an inspection since the day of a May 2023 kitchen fire.

All City officials were adamant that they could not conduct a safety inspection because they did not have an approved set of building plans that they say are necessary for them to re-enter the condemned building.

Carpenito continually peppered each witness to show where in the IPMC that it says that’s necessary to conduct a safety inspection. That information was not provided and Trefsger pointed to Uniform Construction Code regulations which mandated that.

Weaver’s attorney then pointed out that his client was not being cited for violations of the UCC but instead for IPMC violations.

Following the hearing, Weaver entered a pair of not-guilty pleas for similar citations he received for hosting similar events at the Black Rock property during the weekend of the Yuengling Light Lager Jogger in Pottsville.

Weaver said the citations are similar to the one he was found guilty of on Wednesday.

MORE TO COME: We’ll have more from Wednesday’s lengthy hearing.

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