Boom on Shenanigan's lawsuit: 'This will be a city fight'

Suit against Boom, Davenport alleges 'constitutional & civil rights violations'

DAVENPORT, Iowa - After Shenanigan's Irish Pub filed suit Monday in federal court against him and the city of Davenport, former alderman Bill Boom declined to provide a detailed comment, saying only that there is a federal law that protects city employees while acting on behalf of the municipality they are representing: "This will be a city fight."

Shenanigan's, located at 303 W. 3rd St. in Davenport, had its liquor license suspended from Nov. 20, 2015, to Jan. 8, 2016. The lawsuit alleges "constitutional and federal civil rights violations" and that "Davenport and Boom violated Burton Davison and Shenanigan’s rights to due process of law pursuant to the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution."

"The city and Mr. Boom violated Shenanigan's and Mr. Burton and Mr. Willis," said attorney Michael Meloy, who has been representing the pub since 2015. "Their due process rights and their equal protection rights under the United States Consititution."

The complaints against Bill Boom state that Boom gave non-factual accounts when testifying against Shenanigan's in front of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division. It also says that there was a conflict of interest, because Boom co-owns Mary's on Second, a bar just a few blocks away from Shenanigan's. 

When contacted by Local 4 News, Shenanigan's owner Burton Davison deferred to his attorney, Mike Meloy. 

Meloy says that the bar was not allowed due process when their liquor license was revoked in 2015, after a stabbing. He says the owners of Shenanigan's received no notification and were not given the time or opportunity to contest the decision by the city.

The bar was closed for 46 days, until the owners could appeal to the Iowa ABD. After their testimony, they were allowed to reopen. 

Meloy says his clients believe the bar was targeted, and that the false testimonies and lack of due process were an attempt to shut down the bar. 

"We believe one of the reasons why Shenanigan's was targeted was because it has a predominantly African American clientele on weekends," said Meloy. "And it is the only downtown bar that has a predominantly African American clientele."

Those who filed the complaints include Shenanigan's owner, Burton Davis and Shenanigan's employee/customer Steven Willis. They are looking for compensation for the money and business they lost during the time the bar was close. 

Local 4 reached out to the City of Davenport, but was unable to make contact for comment at this time. 


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